Alignment of medical and psychosocial sectors for promotion of tobacco cessation among residents of public housing: A feasibility study

Mandeep S. Jassal, Tracey Oliver-Keyser, Panagis Galiatsatos, Catherine Burdalski, Bonnie Addison, Cassia Lewis-Land, Arlene Butz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The inequity in cessation resources is at the forefront of the recently enacted US smoking ban in public housing facilities. This pre-post, non-randomized pilot study assessed the feasibility of a smoking cessation program targeting smokers in Baltimore City public housing. The study implemented a four-phased, 10-week, community-based cessation program using a joint academic–housing partnership that provided on-site cessation pharmacotherapy, behavioral counseling, and psychosocial/legal services. The community-led strategy involved: (1) two-week smoking cessation training for lay health workers; (2) screening and recruitment of smokers by housing authority residential leadership; (3) four-week resident-led cessation using evidenced-based strategies along with wraparound support services; (4) formative evaluation of the intervention’s acceptability and implementation. Thirty participants were recruited of which greater than one-half attended the majority of weekly cessation events. Thirty percent were able to achieve biomarker-proven cessation, as measured by a reduction in exhaled CO levels—a percentage comparable to the reported state quitline 30-day cessation rate. Despite weekly joint community–academic led-education of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) therapies, only two participants regularly and properly used NRT transdermal patches; <20% of participants used NRT gum correctly at their first follow-up visit. Less than one-half utilized psychosocial and legal services by our community-based organization partners. Post-intervention interviews with participants noted broad approval of the ease in accessibility of the cessation intervention, but more diversification in the timing and personalization of offerings of services would have assisted in greater adoptability and participant retention. Though a reduction in smoking behaviors was not broadly observed, we elucidated modifiable social, educational, and physical features that could enhance the likelihood of smoking cessation among public housing residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7970
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Cessation
  • Cigarettes
  • Environmental tobacco smoke
  • Psychosocial
  • Public housing
  • Smoking
  • Social services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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