Massachusetts Smokers' Helpline

Dates: 2008-2014

State: Massachusetts

Client(s): Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)

Services: Health Care & Public Health Planning, Health Communication

Technical Expertise: Substance Use, Environmental Health, State and Local Public Health


While the Massachusetts (MA) smoking prevalence rate for adults continues to decline from 21% to 16% over the past five years, the state does not have a fully funded tobacco cessation program. The MA Smokers’ Helpline is the only publicly funded statewide tobacco cessation resource available. Since 2001, JSI has successfully managed the country’s second oldest Smokers’ Helpline for the MA, Rhode Island (RI), and New Hampshire (NH) state health departments. This tri-state relationship, connected through JSI’s call center, is a successful and sustainable business model that has afforded each state the opportunity to take advantage of immeasurable administrative efficiencies and cost savings. To date, over 70,000 clients have been served by the Helpline. JSI has consistently maintained a track record of exceptional service delivery and performance metrics with each of its funders.

For this MA Smokers’ Helpline contract, JSI served more than 10,000 clients by providing evidence-based tobacco treatment interventions, distributing campaign specific nicotine replacement therapy, and conducting seven-month follow-up interviews on quit smoking outcomes through our state-of-the-art call center.

JSI was at the forefront of the development and management of QuitWorks, a tobacco treatment fax referral system, recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a best practice. More than 9,500 QuitWorks referrals are projected for this contract engagement. JSI was responsible for the initial development and on-going maintenance of the smokers’ and health care provider websites for all three states. JSI continued to provide consultation on tobacco-related website content. JSI also offered technical assistance on project development for a mobile health text messaging initiative for tobacco users which showed promise as a supplementary smoking cessation support tool.

In addition JSI managed client-level data input which allows for the provision of Helpline data reports to the MA/RI/NH health departments, the CDC and the North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC). Ultimately, JSI expected to yield a 20-35% thirty day continuous abstinence quit rate for various sub-groups served that we follow-up with 7 months after initial screening. JSI Helpline staff had, among them, more than 40 years of experience arranging, recruiting and facilitating smoking cessation and other behavior change groups, as well as supervising and training staff who provide group services.