Connecting your patients who use tobacco/nicotine with evidence-based treatments, including FDA-approved medications and behavioral counseling, greatly increases their chances of a successful quit. People who use both medications AND counseling are more than twice as likely to quit for good.
Each time a clinician intervenes with a patient who uses tobacco, that patient’s likelihood of quitting increases by 30%. Even brief interventions lasting less than three minutes are effective. You may need to intervene repeatedly with your tobacco-using patients, just as you would when assisting patients with managing any chronic condition. Most tobacco users try to quit multiple times before they are successful.
Remind all patients that their insurance covers prescription medicines under the ACA.
Refer patients through QuitWorks, a free, evidence-based referral service that connects patients with phone, web, and text coaching via 1-800-QUIT-NOW to help them quit tobacco/nicotine. Patients enrolled may be eligible to receive free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). For more information about 1-800-QUIT-NOW, visit their website pages for providers.
- Additional resources are available at the Massachusetts’ Quitline online portal. Visit the resources page or information on populations burdened by tobacco.
- Need materials? The Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse offers free brochures and guides for your patients about quitting smoking. Order some for your office today.
- Work with youth? Information is available in the Healthcare Provider section of the vaping Toolkit at Getoutraged.org.
- Looking for guidelines? The U.S. Public Health Service’s Clinical Practice Guideline Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update was designed to assist clinicians in identifying and assessing tobacco users and in delivering evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment. The Quick Reference Guide for Clinicians provides a summary of guideline cessation intervention strategies for use on a day-to-day basis.
- Need technical assistance? The University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training provides free technical assistance and training to Massachusetts health systems to meet Meaningful Use requirements, Patient-Centered Medical Home requirements, and/or Joint Commission standards. Assistance is also available for quality improvement efforts of existing tobacco intervention programs. Recent research shows that a comprehensive tobacco cessation program can assist hospitals in preventing readmissions.