History of Freedom From Smoking®
In 1975, the American Lung Association (ALA), in collaboration with its medical section, the American Thoracic Society (ATS), and Congress of Lung Association Staff (CLAS), launched a project to develop a smoking cessation program. Each organization offered a unique contribution: the American Lung Association had the concerned and committed volunteers, ATS supplied scientific research and expertise, and CLAS provided practical experience as health education professionals.
The project was designed using a three-stage methodology. The first stage was a thorough assessment of existing smoking cessation programs and the research literature. In the second stage, three criteria were established for designing a new American Lung Association smoking cessation program:
- Medically and ethically sound
- Evidence-based and able to be replicated
In the final stage, the program was thoroughly tested according to stringent research standards. Three different approaches—media, self-help and clinic—were chosen for development and testing to reach different segments of the population. These three approaches represented a continuum from less to more contact with the individuals who smoke.
As a result of this research and development, the Freedom From Smoking® self-help manuals were introduced nationwide in 1980. The Freedom From Smoking® (FFS) Clinic Program was first introduced nationwide in 1981, and has helped hundreds of thousands of smokers quit since then. The newest intervention approach designed by the American Lung Association, Freedom From Smoking® Online, was first offered in 1996 as an Internet chat room. It was redesigned and launched as an independent program in 2001, and can now be accessed 24-hours a day, 7-days-a-week, on any schedule a participant chooses. The current version of Freedom From Smoking® Online was launched in late 2009.
All Freedom From Smoking® products are regularly reviewed and updated to make sure that Freedom From Smoking® remains “America’s gold standard in smoking cessation programs.”