American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Just ASK Quality Improvement Project & Clinical Study

The 2022 CoC and NAPBC Assessment of Smoking in New Cancer Patients PDSA Quality Improvement Project and Clinical Study: Just ASK is an elective quality improvement project focused on strengthening evidence-based care across participating programs by leveraging existing resources to address smoking by ASKing all newly diagnosed cancer patients about their smoking status.

The goal of this PDSA to increase and improve the integration of smoking assessment as a standard of care. Participation will require completion of three questionnaires to track progress during the project. This opportunity is being provided to all currently accredited Commission on Cancer (CoC) and National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) programs, as well as those that have applied for CoC or NAPBC accreditation.

Please submit questions to

Just ASK Project and Clinical Study

Just ASK Frequently Asked Questions

Compliance Checklist 

Project Overview and Deadlines

Part 1: Education

Participate in educational webinars as scheduled—encouraged but not required

Part 2: Intervention

Implement the following intervention by July 1, 2022:

ASK all newly diagnosed cancer patients about smoking and report results:

  • Total number of newly diagnosed cancer patients seen.
  • Number of patients asked about smoking status.
  • Number of patients identified as currently smoking.

Part 3: Assessment

Complete the REDCap Questionnaires:

  • Baseline Questionnaire (includes analytic cases from most complete calendar year – 2020 or 2021) Due April 15, 2022
  • Mid-Year Questionnaire (January 1–June 30, 2022) Due September 1, 2022.
  • Final Questionnaire (July 1–December 31, 2022) Due February 1, 2023. 

Please note: All three questionnaires MUST be completed in REDCap to receive credit towards accreditation standards.

Educational Webinar Series

A series of educational webinars will address many questions about the PDSA. Programs are encouraged to attend these webinars for more detailed information about the project. Attendance is not required but is strongly encouraged. Recordings and slides are available through the links below. Registration is required to listen to recorded webinars.

Previous Webinars

April 1, 2022 Watch recording | Webinar slides

February 16, 2022 Watch recording | Webinar slides

Participation and Eligibility Requirements

Any CoC- or NAPBC-accredited program may participate. Participation is optional and is not a requirement of accreditation. Programs choosing not to participate may still complete the required standards in the usual fashion.

Participants who have applied for accreditation but have not yet had a site visit may participate as long as a CoC Facility Identification Number (FIN) or NAPBC Company ID has been assigned.

Programs that do not have a FIN or Company ID may complete the steps outlined in the PDSA for their own benefit. However, because the FIN or Company ID is a required element to complete the REDCap Questionnaires, they will not be able to complete the questionnaires or receive credit towards the accreditation standards for 2022.

Programs can claim either CoC credit or NAPBC credit, but not both.

Completing the Just ASK QI project and clinical research study will fulfill the following CoC Standards for 2022:

  • Quality Improvement Initiative 7.3
  • Cancer Prevention Event 8.2
  • Clinical Research Accrual 9.1


Completing the Just ASK QI project and clinical research study will fulfill the following NAPBC Standards for 2022:

  • Clinical Trial Accrual 3.2
  • Cancer Prevention, Education, and Early Detection Programs 4.1
  • Quality and Outcomes 6.1 (counts toward one of two studies)

For Network Accreditations (INCP/NCIN) to receive credit, BOTH of the following criteria must be met:

  • All network children within the network each submit their own questionnaire series; AND
  • at least 20% of the network analytic case load must be impacted by the interventions implemented.

This requires that the network organizations coordinate with each other to ensure that at least 20% of the total network population are impacted by the interventions.

Submit study questions to