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What does the California Smokers’ Helpline know now in 2012 that they wish they knew 20 years ago when the quitline was just starting up?

Posted By Natalia A. Gromov, Sunday, January 1, 2012
Updated: Monday, January 30, 2012

Welcome to NAQC’s first-ever blog post! As you know, this blog is a celebration of all we have learned, endured and achieved over the past twenty years of quitlines in North America. Celebrating 20 Years of Quitline History with 20 Questions About our Future will feature twenty questions generated by leaders across tobacco control, and answered by selected quitline colleagues across North America. Using the blog’s comment function, YOU will have an opportunity to post your own answers and responses to each blog entry. The blog begins today and the final question will be revealed at the 2012 NAQC Conference!

Considering it is the California Smokers’ Helpline (SHL) celebrating 20 years in 2012, we thought the first blog question should be addressed to the entire SHL team. Did you know that many of the team members have been together since the very beginning? We thought it would be interesting to know what they know now, in 2012, that they wish they would have known 20 years ago when the quitline was just starting out.

We wish we had known that the non-specific effects of an intervention are much more important than the specific effects.

While it's important to try to increase smokers' knowledge about tobacco and withdrawal, to plan for difficult situations and build effective coping strategies, it's more important to increase their confidence in being able to quit, to instill a sense of hope that things can get better with effort, to get them to try even if they don't feel very confident or hopeful, to provide accountability for following through with their plan and to encourage repeated attempts.

The same thing applies to running an organization, but that's another story!

Thanks to the entire team at the California Smokers’ Helpline and Happy Anniversary!

What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you began your work with quitlines? Are you part of a long-lasting quitline team?

Tags:  California Smokers’ Helpline (SHL) 

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