Study Information

Free from Cigarettes, Free to Live Healthy

Do you want to quit smoking and free yourself from cigarettes? Joining Project FREE may help you finally quit smoking for good!

Project FREE is a new study examining two different health-focused programs to help you quit smoking cigarettes and lead a healthier lifestyle. Our research staff is committed to providing you with the tools you need to live smoke-free. The study is designed for men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 who currently smoke at least ten cigarettes a day and would like to quit smoking for good.

Taking the First Step

Participating in Project FREE may:

  • Help you QUIT SMOKING.
  • Improve your overall health.
  • Give you more energy.
  • Help you cope with stress.
  • Improve self-confidence.
  • Help reduce feelings of depressed mood.
  • Help you feel better and breathe easier

More About the Study

The purpose of Project FREE is to determine whether adding health-focused programs (such as exercise and health education) to standard smoking-cessation treatment will help smokers quit cigarettes for good.

Interested individuals will undergo an initial in-person interview to determine eligibility to participate in the study. Once eligible, participants are randomly assigned (through a computer program) to one of two health-focused programs: aerobic exercise or health education.

Participants assigned to the aerobic exercise program will receive an assessment of their physical fitness and an aerobic exercise program tailored to their own physical fitness level. All sessions are supervised by an experienced exercise physiologist and are held at a fitness facility on the Butler Hospital campus.

Participants assigned to the 12-week health & wellness program will be taught by an experienced health educator. Sessions are focused on providing information on various health topics affected by cigarette smoking along with approaches toward adopting a healthier lifestyle.

There will be follow-up assessments at the end of each program, as well as three and nine months later.

This study is being conducted by experienced researchers at Butler Hospital, affiliated with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Funding for this study is provided by the National Cancer Institute. 

Participation is voluntary. All information gathered will be treated as confidential.


Project FREE study participants will receive either:

  • A 12-week aerobic exercise program that includes instruction on how to build physical activity into your daily life. 
  • A 12-week health & wellness program that will teach you about the various health effects of smoking and ways to live a healthier lifestyle.

In addition, every participant will receive:

  • Eight weekly smoking cessation counseling sessions conducted over the phone.
  • Two months of transdermal nicotine patches.
  • Assessment of your physical fitness level.
  • Access to experienced clinicians who will monitor your mood during the study period.
  • Minimum compensation of $380 for your time and full participation in the study.

More Information/FAQ

How do I know if this study is appropriate for me?

Project FREE is looking for men and women between the ages of 18-65, who currently smoke ten or more cigarettes per day and want to quit smoking. In order to see if this study is a good match for you, our research staff will conduct a complete evaluation. First, study staff will talk with you on the phone. If it appears that the study may be a good fit for you, we will invite you in for an in-person interview.

Do I have to be physically fit to participate?

No. If you are chosen to be in the exercise condition, the staff exercise physiologist will teach you how to exercise safely and create a program tailored to your level of fitness.

Is transportation provided?

On the rare occasion where participants do not have their own transportation, our Project FREE researchers will try to work with participants to coordinate transportation. The options vary depending on each person's need and geographic location. The best thing to do is call (401) 455-6219 to discuss transportation with a research assistant.

When and where do the classes take place?

All classes take place once per week at Butler Hospital. Exercise classes take place at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday nights and Health & Wellness classes take place at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday nights.

If I am chosen to be in the exercise group, what kind of exercise will I be doing?

Participants in the exercise group will engage in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. Training will be carried out by an exercise physiologist at our fitness facility located at the Butler Hospital campus. Our facility is equipped with treadmills, recumbent bicycles, and elliptical machines.

What are the Health & Wellness classes like?

The Health & Wellness classes are led by an experienced health educator. Sessions are focused on providing information on various health topics affected by cigarette smoking along with approaches toward adopting a healthier lifestyle. Group sessions will consist of lectures, worksheets, videos, and handouts. Topics include heart disease, nutrition, sleep, hygiene, stroke, etc.

Do I have to use the nicotine patch?

Yes. You must be willing to wear the nicotine patch, provided to you at no cost, for eight weeks. The dosage of the patch will be slowly decreased over the course of treatment.

Does the study offer any sort of counseling while I am trying to quit smoking?

Yes. On eight of the 12 weeks of this study, you will participate in eight weekly, 20 minute standard smoking cessation sessions conducted over the phone by an experienced smoking cessation counselor. These sessions will be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you.

Does the study offer compensation?

Yes. In addition to receiving free nicotine patches, you will be compensated for your time and effort in completing the baseline interview, weekly sessions, and follow-up appointments. Research staff will inform you about our payment schedule during the initial telephone interview but with full participation, you will be compensated $380.

Butler Hospital

Area of Study

Recruitment Status