Moffitt Cancer Center Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month by Launching Nationwide Spanish-Language Quit Smoking Study

October 31, 2016

TAMPA, Fla. – Tobacco smoking is the leading preventable cause of cancer death.  Hispanics/Latinos are the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority population of smokers in the United States, with smoking rates as high as 35 percent in some cultures.  Hispanic/Latino smokers face unique challenges to quitting smoking.  For example, there are very few quit-smoking resources written in Spanish.  Moffitt Cancer Center recently received grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Florida Department of Health to distribute and test Spanish-language quit-smoking materials.  

English-language versions of these materials have been shown to help smokers quit.  With state funding, the research team at Moffitt spent the last year developing Spanish-language versions that were acceptable to the wide range of Hispanic/Latino cultures and countries of origin. Thomas Brandon, Ph.D., who co-leads the project at Moffitt, is excited about the study.  “There is a tremendous need for quality healthcare information for individuals who prefer or require materials written in Spanish.  Such information can save lives, and that’s the case with smoking cessation,” he said. 

Coinciding with Hispanic Heritage Month, Moffitt is launching a nationwide study to test the effectiveness of these materials.  The study, Libre del Cigarillo, will provide 1,200 Hispanic participants with Spanish-language materials designed to help them quit smoking.  Participants will be sent the materials by mail, and they will complete brief surveys every six months for two years. 

“We designed this study to deliver helpful material to smokers in the manner they prefer.  Then we collect their feedback so that we can continue to improve the product,” said Ursula Martinez, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow who is working on the project.  In appreciation, participants will receive a $20 gift card for each completed survey.

Hispanic/Latino adults who smoke, prefer health materials in Spanish, and live anywhere in the U.S. can visit or call 1-866-409-6670 to learn more about the study.

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 47 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the No. 6 cancer hospital in the nation and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2.5 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 5,200 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.1 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube