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The Intersection of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Pivot Breathe’s Role in Health Equity at Your Organization

August 9, 2023
By Pivot
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Tobacco Use in the U.S.

Tobacco use is the foremost cause of preventable diseases, premature deaths, and exorbitant healthcare costs in the United States. The impact of aiding individuals in successfully quitting tobacco is remarkable, leading to substantial financial benefits. On average, each person who quits tobacco can save their company up to $4,000 per year in healthcare costs alone. By investing in robust tobacco cessation initiatives, organizations can improve their employees' well-being and achieve significant cost savings.

Addressing Social Disadvantage

While all people who smoke deserve access to inclusive and supportive tobacco cessation programs, it is essential not to neglect socially disadvantaged communities. Today 23% of working-age adults use tobacco. Still, when you break it down, the prevalence of tobacco use increases across key demographics: low education, low income, LGBTQ+ identification, rural communities, individuals with disabilities, and those with severe mental illness. These communities often face additional barriers to quitting tobacco, such as limited access to healthcare resources, financial constraints, and systemic disparities. 

Unfortunately, simply offering a traditional tobacco cessation program, more of a check-the-box option, is insufficient in providing the support needed to successfully help people who smoke reduce or quit and the added subsequent benefit of organizational healthcare cost savings. 

By prioritizing an innovative, best-in-class tobacco cessation offering, organizations can make a tangible investment in the communities that need it the most. Targeting the most significant cause of preventable death in the United States can reduce health disparities and foster more substantial equity.

Why traditional programs don’t support DEI

Historically tobacco cessation programs have failed to serve the most disadvantaged. According to a 2022 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute:

Several non-White (vs. White) racial and ethnic groups had higher prevalence of quit interest and attempts but lower prevalence of sustained cessation or using e-cigarettes or treatments to quit. Income, education, employment, and metropolitan residence were positively associated with sustained cessation.

Similarly, social class has long been associated with tobacco cessation across many studies. In a 2006 study, researchers conducted a telephone survey of 481 US adults who smoke and suggest: 

“smokers from high social class are likely to use effective resources for tobacco cessation and have restrictive home environment in terms of smoking, which leads to a relatively higher tobacco cessation rate compared to those from low social class…Interventions that incorporate strategies to support home smoking bans and to promote improved access to tobacco cessation resources hold promise of reducing disparities in smoking.

Learning from the body of scientific research on tobacco cessation outcomes and health equity, Pivot researchers made intentional design choices to ensure that Pivot Breathe empowers all users to reduce or quit smoking, regardless of demographics or readiness to quit.

Pivot brought innovation to tobacco cessation

At Pivot, we aim to highlight the importance of effective tobacco cessation as a fundamental pillar in addressing health equity. Organizations can profoundly impact both individual lives and their company by prioritizing comprehensive, effective tobacco cessation solutions like Pivot Breathe.

The most recent randomized control trial of Pivot Breathe finds that: 44% of users quit within 12 months – across all populations, including the most disadvantaged. In general, disadvantaged socioeconomic groups performed the same as those considered advantaged. When the outcomes between groups differed, the disadvantaged socioeconomic group performed slightly better than privileged peers.

The Power of Investing in Pivot Breathe

Pivot Breathe represents an opportunity for organizations to make a transformative impact on their employees, communities, and overall health outcomes. 

Pivot Breathe revolutionized tobacco cessation by introducing the first FDA-cleared over-the-counter device to help people quit and employing evidence-based clinical approaches tailored to individuals' needs and preferences. Pivot Breathe provides users with the most comprehensive cognitive behavior platform, proven to help people quit, utilizing the support of tobacco treatment specialized health coaches, the FDA-cleared Breath Sensor, free access to Nicotine Replacement Therapy, an engaging and moderated peer-to-peer community, in addition to a wealth of lessons and challenges. 

By adopting Pivot Breathe, organizations demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of their employees and take a proactive stance in promoting health equity. No matter one’s readiness to quit or form of tobacco, Pivot Breathe is ready to support your employees on their quit journey.

Engaging a Broader Audience

As demonstrated, other tobacco cessation programs aren’t always successful in engaging individuals to enroll and start their quit journey. Even if an offering could be impactful, efforts will be fruitless without effective utilization. A critical component that is typically overlooked is reach and frequency.  

In addition to an effective, user-friendly product offering, Pivot Breathe provides access to best-in-class marketing and client support. Through thoughtful guidance and support, organizations can gain the value of a 5-10x increase in enrollment, with minimal work due to Pivot’s effective implementation process. 


As the DEI movement continues gaining momentum, organizations must recognize tobacco cessation's critical role in achieving health equity and ensure it is part of their strategy. 

By investing in comprehensive programs like Pivot Breathe, organizations can address the pressing health risks of tobacco use while fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment. An effective tobacco cessation solution saves lives, reduces healthcare costs, and empowers individuals, particularly those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, to improve their overall health and well-being. 

It's time to impact the communities that need it most significantly. Invest in Pivot Breathe and join the movement toward a healthier, more equitable future.

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Want to dive deeper?

Check out our report on tobacco & health equity

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