Telephone quitlines are an effective way to provide evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment services at the population level. Information about what services quitlines offer and how those services are used may improve their reach to the smoking population.
The North American Quitline Consortium surveyed state quitlines in 2005 and 2006 to get information about quitline services, funding, and use. We report changes between 2005 and 2006.
By 2006, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had quitlines, and annual mean reach was approximately 1% of US adult smokers (aged 18 years or older). Significant increases were seen in mean quitline reach, mean per capita funding for quitline services, and provision of free cessation medications; otherwise, few changes were seen in quitline services.
Quitlines have the potential to serve a large percentage of smokers. Between 2005 and 2006, gains in the number, reach, and per capita funding for quitline services in the United States were seen. Although this represents progress, further research and investment to optimize quitline service delivery and reach are required for quitlines to fulfill their potential of improving the health of the American population.