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Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction

Smoke-free together! Tobacco prevention and smoking cessation among disadvantaged populations

Summary Digital and physical outreach interventions on tobacco prevention and cessation among disadvantaged groups of the autochthonous and migrant populations. Close collaboration with civil society organizations of these groups.
Project lead Corina Salis Gross
Duration 11.2021-11.2024
Funding Tabakpräventionsfonds (TPF)


More than a quarter of the Swiss population smokes, with smoking prevalence being significantly higher among Swiss individuals with a low socioeconomic status and among the migrant population with a similar position. At the same time, these populations have less access to the health care system and tobacco prevention and cessation services. Projects to promote smoking cessation and tobacco prevention have previously been conducted and positively evaluated for the Turkish- and Albanian-speaking population in Switzerland (see "related links"). Success factors included outreach work and relationship-based recruitment of the target population (e.g., via key persons in civil society organizations). The interventions were free of charge and delivered on-site in the native language of the participants. “Smoke free together” follows the same principles, includes a broader target group (incl. autochthonous population and foreign population with high smoking prevalence), and extends relationship-based tobacco prevention and cessation to the digital medium. 


The main objective of this project is to reduce the prevalence of smoking in the the socially disadvantaged population and to reduce the number of people that are exposed to second-hand smoke in organizations, clubs, religious institutions, and in private rooms etc.

  • The secondary objectives are the following:
  • The socially disadvantaged population in Switzerland is given low-threshold access to tobacco prevention and cessation.
  • In particular, language and educational barriers as well as economic  situation are adequately addressed.
  • The digital health literacy of these population groups is strengthened.
  • Multipliers in the communities (doctors, peer smoking cessation trainers, key persons) are empowered to convey information in simple language and to motivate people to quit smoking. Group dynamic processes are also considered.
  • Stakeholders in tobacco prevention are sensitized to the low-threshold access of their services.


An outreach approach is chosen in which information is disseminated and discussed. The interventions will be developed and operated in civil society organizations (associations, trade unions, religious institutions, informal groupsetc.) and in the networks of the socially disadvantaged. All project phases are developed and implemented in a participatory manner with the target groups.

Two workshops - "Smoking harms" and "How do I stop smoking?" - represent the core of the interventions. These workshops are offered free of charge in groups of about 15-20 individuals and will be delivered online, physically or hybrid by doctors and trained peer stop-smoking trainers in German, French, Italian, Turkish, Albanian, Serbian, Bosnian, Spanish and Portuguese. In addition, selected tobacco prevention topics will be presented in interactive livestreams to a wider audience in the languages mentioned above. The videos of the livestreams will be distributed via social media and other media channels in the networks of the target groups to reach as many interested people as possible. Individuals or groups interested in quitting will receive information on existing tobacco cessation services through the workshops and livestreams. The findings and experiences from the project will be continuously evaluated and shared with national and international stakeholders.


This project for tobacco prevention and smoking cessation among socially disadvantaged groups, in which the digital medium is used and nine languages are considered, is continuously evaluated and adapted. This provides a solid foundation for equitable tobacco prevention and therapy, which can be used nationally and internationally.


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