Economists and health services researchers have long been faced with the problem of how to effectively unitize and assess cost and quality of health care delivery across diverse practice settings. One such approach is episode-of-care analysis, first theorized and applied by Hornbrook and his colleagues in the mid-1980s. A health care episode is defined as a series of health-related events with a beginning, an end, and a course, all related to a given health problem that exists over a specific time period (i.e., time horizon). The concept of a health care episode lends itself to system dynamics analysis of the processes as well as the outcomes of evidence-based medical care. In our research we have adapted an episode-of-care framework to the topic of treating tobacco use and dependence. In particular, we have defined four types of episodes, namely smoking episodes, quitting episodes, illness episodes, and treatment episodes, which we are studying in relationship to two general goals: Motivating patients who currently use tobacco to quit and, for those who quit, preventing their relapse. We review the literature on episode-of-care analysis and discuss alternative ways to model the dynamics of tobacco treatment at the level of the primary care practice.