Justice-Involved Tobacco Cessation

Justice-Involved Tobacco Cessation


Despite encouraging progress in tobacco cessation in the U.S., justice-involved individuals still smoke at 3 times the rate of the general population. BHWP is assisting the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease to meet the tobacco cessation needs of Arizona’s tobacco users with specific attention paid to individuals involved with Arizona’s criminal justice system. BHWP is working with the state, counties, public service institutions, and other key stakeholders to articulate realistic plans for creating a tobacco cessation continuity-of-care that is both scalable and sustainable.


Needs Assessment. In 2017, BHWP worked with AZ state partners to undertake a comprehensive needs assessment consisting of organizational and staff assessments, site visits, and interviews. Based on this assessment, BHWP presented a strategic plan to guide future efforts. Outcomes, conclusions, recommendations, and the strategic 5-year plan can be found in this report.

Maricopa County JusticeInvolved Tobacco Cessation Project: Corrections System Readiness and Recommendations (PDF)

Department of Corrections Pilot Project. In 2019, Peer Support Specialists at a pre-release program were trained in the DIMENSIONS Tobacco Free Program. In early 2020, 39 individuals at a Second Chance Center in AZ were enrolled in one of three consecutive peer-facilitated DIMENSIONS groups. Participants provided weekly self-reported data on tobacco use, quit attempts, use and importance of NRT, and readiness to live a tobacco free life post-release. Over the course of the 6-session program, participants significantly reduced tobacco use, and a quarter of the group reported successful cessation, offering the first evidence that peer-facilitated cessation programming is effective and feasible for incarcerated individuals.

Video Summary of Project Results.

Read the full report