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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Quitline Networking Between the US and Canada: The Ties That Bind

Wednesday, April 13, 2011  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Findings from the 2009 KIQNIC survey show that there are two distinct sub-networks within the North American quitline community: the American quitlines tend to communicate almost exclusively with other American quitlines, and the Canadian quitlines tend to communicate almost exclusively with other Canadian quitlines. The NAQC central office plays an important role in bridging communications across the two countries, but if you remove the NAQC office from the network diagrams, there are few links between Canada and the US.

What does this mean for our network of quitlines? According to Dr. Scott Leischow of the University of Arizona Cancer Center and KIQNIC’s principal investigator, "Findings like this structural gap in the network can be important. Typically, when you develop a network like NAQC, you want to ensure that there are enough communication ties to make the network robust. If a few key members of the network are removed, it could prove difficult for information sharing to continue across the US/Canada border".

"Members will have an opportunity to look at network maps that illustrate this finding in an upcoming webinar, and perhaps talk about whether or not it would be worthwhile to intentionally build some additional ties between our two countries to potentially strengthen the overall network.”

Interestingly, most of the links between the two countries are through the quitlines that scored highest on the survey question that asked, "Which state or provincial quitlines, other than your own, do you most admire for doing an especially good job regarding tobacco quitline activities?”The KIQNIC research team will be exploring other variables to see if those highly admired quitlinesshare any common characteristics, e.g. they happen to spend more per smoker than other quitlines, their service providers are of a certain type (e.g. serve a large number of states/provinces, or affiliated with a university, and so on).

Please look for an e-mail announcement with dates and details on the upcoming KIQNIC webinars. To learn more, visit the KIQNIC page on our website, or contact Project Coordinator Gregg Moor.

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