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Combining tobacco cessation and radon testing: A multiagency collaboration to promote the health of Montanans

Exposure to indoor radon and tobacco smoke have a synergistic effect, meaning that the combined risk for lung cancer is more than additive. In a rural, high-radon geographic state, this concern led to a coalition approach to encourage radon testing for Montana residents. A one- page radon background and risk document was included in the orientation packets for “Quit Line” enrollees attempting to quit smoking cigarettes. Free radon kits were sent to interested individuals. Data collection began January 1, 2014 and ended May 15, 2014. Six hundred individuals were invited and fourteen (2.3%) accepted the invitation. Two of the fourteen (14.3%) completed the test kit they requested. This rate is well below the approximately 65% test kit return rate reported from state radon programs. Indoor radon concentrations were less than the recommended action level for both participants. Members of the six agencies involved in the coalition agreed to try an alternative outreach approach for Quit Line participants in January 2015. The results of this pilot-test provide important information for other high-radon states wishing to launch a similar collaboration.