Background: Quitlines and worksite-sponsored cessation programs are effective and highly accessible, but limited by low utilization. Efforts to encourage use of cessation aids have focused almost exclusively on the smoker, overlooking the potential for friends, family, co-workers, and others in a tobacco user's social network to influence quitting and use of effective treatment. Methods: Longitudinal, observational pilot feasibility study with 6-week follow-up survey. Setting/participants: Employees of three national corporations, with a combined target audience of 102,100 employees. Intervention: The Helpers Program offers web-based, brief intervention training to activate social networks of tobacco users to encourage quitting and use of effective treatment. Helpers was offered from January 10 to March 31, 2008, as a treatment engagement strategy, together with Free & Clear's telephone/web-based cessation services. Main outcome measures: Website utilization, training completion, post-training changes in knowledge and self-efficacy with delivery of brief interventions, referrals to Free & Clear, and use of brief intervention training. Results: There were 19,109 unique visitors to the Helpers website. Of these, 4727 created user accounts; 1427 registered for Helpers Training; 766 completed training. There were 445 visits to the referral page and 201 e-mail or letter referrals generated. There were 67 requests for technical support. Of follow-up survey respondents (n=289), 78.9% reported offering a brief intervention. Conclusions: Offering the Helpers Program website to a large, diverse audience as part of an employer-sponsored worksite health promotion program is both feasible and well accepted by employees. Website users will participate in training, encourage quitting, and refer smokers to quitline services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health