Current cessation work includes evaluations of various quit smoking initiatives in a variety of settings including the workplace and health care settings, a study of effectiveness and cost effectiveness of cessation services, an examination of the use of the existing cessation system in Ontario, an assessment of current government incentives and regulatory policies related to health insurance coverage for cessation treatment, work to better capture tobacco related information in electronic health records, and creation of a smokers’ panel that will provide a platform for studies on cessation pathways, factors related to relapse, and intervention outcomes.

Current Cessation Projects

Current State and Perspectives on Health Insurance Coverage of Smoking Cessation Treatment in Ontario

Focus Area: Health Insurance, Regulatory Policies

Assessment of current government incentives and regulatory policies that affect insurer decisions about coverage of cessation interventions in health benefit packages.

Data Standards

Focus Areas: Data Standards, Electronic Health Record

Data standards ensure that data in one part of the health system is available and meaningful across a range of settings such as primary care and other health settings, clinical practice settings, research studies and NGO initiatives. Standards increase efficiency and responsiveness. The exchange of health information in an electronic format, and the pooling of data from multiple sources (e.g., multiple service providers, laboratory results, etc.), favour the adoption of a standardized language and format. OTRU is developing standards for data collection and reporting, including a standardized minimal dataset of tobacco-related elements (with definitions) that can be incorporated into an electronic health record.

Developmental Evaluation of Workplace Cessation Initiative

Focus Areas: Evaluation, Workplace

Using a realist approach, this research investigates how workplace smoking cessation initiatives’ setting, and social and organizational contexts influence outcomes and draws attention to understanding how and why workplace-based cessation initiatives work.

Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Cessation Services

Focus Areas: Effectiveness, Cost Effectiveness, Health Care Providers

Currently smoking cessation interventions are delivered at different settings such as hospitals, primary care and pharmacy, and by different healthcare providers such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, peer-coaches, etc. s Using results from existing studies and new data, we are working with partners to conduct appropriate cost-effectiveness analysis. Information on effectiveness and cost effectiveness will help stakeholders better plan their interventions.

Evaluation of Demonstration Projects Designed to Support Smoking Cessation During and After Pregnancy

Focus Areas: Pregnancy, Postpartum

This project is an evaluation of the implementation (formative evaluation) and effectiveness (outcome evaluation) of three demonstration projects to support smoking cessation during and after pregnancy.

Exploring Opportunities and Challenges for Developing a New Coordinated Smoking Cessation System in Ontario

Focus Areas: Cessation Program/Service Use

Cessation is a complex process that may span from many months to years, and evidence shows that the paths to cessation are varied. A coordinated system would be able to attract tobacco users and support them throughout their entire cessation process. Currently, there is not a coordinated tobacco user support system in Ontario. However, existing services/programs provide a basis for such a coordinated system. This project explores the experience of tobacco users with existing cessation services/programs and identifies opportunities for strengthening linkages across these services/programs.

Formative Evaluation of STOP with Family Health Teams and STOP with Community Health Centres

Focus Areas: Evaluation, Nicotine Replacement Therapy, Health Care Providers

STOP with Family Health Teams (FHTs) and STOP with Community Health Centres (CHCs) are programs funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to enhance support to smokers by providing access to free nicotine replacement therapy and smoking cessation counselling. This formative evaluation of the programs aims to: validate that program activities are being implemented as planned; explore variation in program implementation across participating FHTs and CHCs; and inform improvements and adjustments to the programs. Evaluation findings are fed back to participating FHTs and CHCs to facilitate learning and sharing of best practices across participating health care settings.

Physical Exercise for Smoking Cessation: Evaluation of the Quit and Get Fit Program

Focus Areas: Physical Activity

Since 2010, the Ontario Lung Association has been implementing the Quit & Get Fit program to assist smokers in quitting by offering an exercise program and behavioural smoking cessation support. This project is evaluating the process of program implementation and its effectiveness in helping smokers quit and improve their levels of physical activity.

RNAO Provincial Nursing Best Practice Smoking Cessation Initiative Assessment

Focus Area: Best Practices, Nurses, Ontario

This project examines how the RNAO smoking cessation initiative builds capacity for smoking cessation and affects treatment of tobacco dependence under a variety of contexts.

Smokers’ Panel

Focus Areas: Data Platform Development

An Ontario-based smokers’ panel that consists of current tobacco users and those who are trying to quit is under development. Members of the panel are being recruited through cessation services and via a question included in the minimal dataset (Data Standards project). A series of innovative studies will use the powerful interlinked data platform of a Smokers’ Panel, incorporating both quantitative studies with in-depth qualitative exploration to better understand areas such as long-term relapse, smoking cessation pathways and outcomes with planned interventions.