UW-CTRI is making final preparations to roll out its primary research study, Breaking Addiction to Tobacco for Health (BREATHE). This center grant study is set to launch January 20 at the Dean Health Care clinic in Janesville and the Aurora Health Care clinic at Sinai Hospital in Milwaukee. 

BREATHE staff are preparing many aspects of this complex study, including:

  • Prepping technology, such as the database, surveys, auto-calling systems, Skype for follow-up calls with participants, and data-transmission capability between participating clinics and UW-CTRI.
  • Finalizing equipment for health counselors.
  • Hiring a new health counselor in Madison.
  • Completing counselor training.
  • Printing marketing materials.
The research is supported by a $12 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute to help patients in the Milwaukee and Madison areas change their smoking or quit smoking. UW-CTRI is working with Epic Systems to modify the electronic health record (EHR) systems at participating health clinics, in an effort to help more patients quit. Any smoker who visits a participating clinic, regardless of the initial reason for the visit, will be invited to get treatment through BREATHE. 

UW-CTRI Research Director Dr. Tim Baker, a co-principal investigator (PI) of BREATHE, said the research is based on evidence that, for most patients, the best results are obtained when they go through several phases of treatment. "Ideally, smoking treatments should first help patients to prepare to quit smoking, then to actually quit smoking, then to prevent relapse, and finally to recover from any slips,” Baker said. “This project will use new and powerful research methods to identify the most effective treatments for every phase of quitting.”

"Preparing to launch this study has been a colossal undertaking," said UW-CTRI Director Dr. Michael Fiore, co-PI of BREATHE. "It is a testament to the effort and excellence of our entire team that we are on schedule to launch the study earlier than planned."

UW-CTRI researchers are collaborating on BREATHE with colleagues from Penn State University and the University of Illinois-Chicago.