BREATHE 2: UW-CTRI Receives $14 Million Grant

UW-CTRI Receives $14M Grant from National Cancer Institute to Partner with Health Systems, Match Quit-Smoking Treatments to Individual Patients:

UW-CTRI’s Fifth Straight Center Grant

Dr. Tim Baker
Dr. Tim Baker

MADISON—In a first, researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health will compare the most effective treatments to help people quit smoking in real-world clinics, with a goal of tailoring and optimizing help to individual smokers. This $14 million grant from the National Cancer Institute will be the fifth consecutive “center grant” for lead researchers Dr. Tim Baker (left) and Dr. Michael Fiore, research director and director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI), and their staff.

UW-CTRI will partner with Aurora Health Care and UW Health to treat more than 4,000 clinic patients. They will reach out to patients at participating clinics listed as smokers in electronic health records to help those who are ready to quit and motivate those who aren’t. The innovative experiment will be the first to experimentally compare the two most effective interventions available—varenicline (Chantix) vs. combination nicotine-replacement medications—and determine whether they are enhanced by type of counseling (in-person vs. phone), or by extra medication before quitting or after the standard treatment.

BREATHE 2“About 25 million smokers in America make a primary care visit each year,” Baker said, “but only about five percent of smokers who try to quit use the cessation counseling and medication we know can help. In this study, we’ll reach out to them and offer these treatments.”

This study will investigate how best to match treatments to smokers, given their readiness to quit. “We know the majority of smokers who visit primary care clinics want to quit; most of them have already tried and are often discouraged,” Fiore said. “But smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in America. We will be offering something for everyone. For those not ready to quit, this includes incentives, tailored outreach and, if they decide to quit later, state of the art medication and quitline coaching.”

This research will develop a Comprehensive Chronic Care Smoking Treatment Program (CCCSTOP) using factorial designs to develop the best treatments for all smokers and using the RE-AIM research constructs to translate these results into real-world health-care changes:

  • R: Increase Reach by using a more inclusive opt-out recruitment strategy to contact clinic patients and offer help.
  • E: Augment treatment Effectiveness by optimizing intervention components that work especially well together for smokers who are ready to quit and those who are not.
  • A: Bolster Adoption by developing the CCCSTOP within two healthcare systems and using their patient populations, personnel, and resources (e.g., EHRs). Engineer CCCSTOP to produce benefits of great appeal to potential adopters (e.g., cost-effectiveness, little impact on clinic workflow).
  • I: Foster Implementation potential by evaluating all potential CCCSTOP components to ensure they are feasible with regard to cost, staffing needs, training required, and resource requirements.
  • M: Finally, enhance Maintenance by developing treatments engineered to maintain patients’ behavior change and that are easy and inexpensive to continue by healthcare systems and staff.

For more information: