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Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction

Smoking cessation courses and tobacco prevention in the Albanian speaking population

Summary Migration-sensitive smoking cessation therapy and tobacco prevention for Albanian-speaking smokers, using a relationship-led and outreach approach.
Project manager(s) Corina Salis Gross
Duration 01.2015 – 12.2020
Client / funding partner(s) Tabakpräventionsfonds (TPF)
Cooperating partner(s) Arbeitsgemeinschaft Tabakprävention


By the end 2013, the proportion of foreign residents in Switzerland was 23.8% and that of the population with a migrant background was approximately 36%. Many of the smoking cessation courses offered in Switzerland so far do not reach the migrant population to the desired extent. Especially linguistically disadvantaged and vulnerable groups have limited access to these services. Simultaneously, the prevalence of tobacco consumption is in some cases higher compared to the Swiss population. The present project is a multiplication of the migration-sensitive smoking cessation courses established in 2006 and the tobacco prevention pilot project "Tiryaki Kukla", which ran until mid-2012. The target group is the Albanian-speaking migrant population in Switzerland. This specific group was chosen as it has high smoking prevalence rates as well as high health risks. In addition, according to assessment completed by experts and the existing literature it is a population, which is difficult to reach through health care and prevention. 

In the migration-sensitive smoking cessation courses offered in the Turkish language, promising results were achieved: 58.4% of the participants in the courses from 2010-2012 were still smoke-free 12 months after the course. The tried and tested range of courses and the measures for promotion and tobacco prevention are to be adapted to the new target group of Albanian speakers as well as implemented and evaluated.


The general objective of the project is to achieve a change in norms towards being smoke-free in the Albanian-speaking population of Switzerland. Concrete impact targets are as follows:

  1. Each year, during the development phase, 6 information events (later 15) take place, on tobacco prevention and recruitment for the smoking cessation courses in community settings. 
  2. In the first phase, 3 smoking cessation courses are held per year (later 10). At least 18-30 (later 60-100) smokers of the target group participate in these.
  3. At least 40% of the participants are still smoke-free after 12 months. 
  4. The different community settings encourage community-based prevention (smoke-free rooms).


For the information events and the smoking cessation courses, a relationship-based outreach approach is used. The courses are advertised through direct contact with selected associations and groups of the Albanian-speaking migrant population. Additionally, the key players in the field of tobacco prevention are informed about the offer and receive the relevant materials for further dissemination. The courses are based on a validated therapy manual for migrants from Turkey, which was adapted in close cooperation with the Albanian-speaking target group.The evaluation of the courses is based on a standardized survey of course participants, conducted at two points (beginning of the courses and 3 months after the smoking cessation) and supplemented by a telephone follow-up after 12 months. The course instructors evaluate each course by providing feedback both orally and in writing. A summary report on implementation and effectiveness is drawn up annually.

Value of the project

The specific framework we have developed for migration-sensitive smoking cessation therapy and tobacco prevention will be multiplied to further vulnerable target groups and continuously reviewed and adapted. Subsequently, evaluated experiences on tobacco cessation and tobacco prevention in a migration context will available nationally and internationally.


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