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The QUITNOW program is an evidence-based method for increasing tobacco cessation in New Mexico. Although many efforts have been made to create and implement tobacco cessation interventions, research on the effectiveness of such programs in rural communities is limited. Data obtained from cities are typically generalized to all communities. This study aims to address the following question: "To what extent are adults in rural communities engaging in the QUITNOW program compared with adults in urban communities?" We hypothesize that rural communities may have a considerably lower rate of accessing QUITNOW than urban communities because of unique circumstances, which vary according to community. Rates of QUITNOW use will be calculated for each zip code in New Mexico. We will analyze the ratio of the total number of initial contacts to the eighteen and over population who are tobacco users interested in quitting. Data from rural communities will be compared with data from urban communities, statistically by t-test. We found the initial contact rate to be significantly lower (P=.03) in rural communities than that of urban communities. Results also indicated there was not a statistical difference in enrollees. This research will inform development of a focus group to better understand barriers to QUITNOW use in rural communities. It will also inform future interventions to increase use of QUITNOW in those communities. Tobacco-free living is an essential component of reducing health disparities. Our findings regarding disparities associated with residence in a rural community will help to address gaps in our knowledge.

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Usage of Tobacco Cessation Helpline (QUITNOW) in Rural New Mexico