Treatment for tobacco dependence is one of the three most important and cost-effective services a provider can offer. Research clearly shows that provider advice on quitting smoking increases the likelihood that a patient will quit. Providers — broadly defined as all members of a health care team — play a key role in ensuring that tobacco use is routinely addressed and treated as a part of every patient contact in the health care system.
Best practices exist
A clear and robust body of evidence shows that either counseling or medications separately — as well as the combination of the two — increases quit rates. Smokers are also more likely to quit when they have help, compared with when they try on their own.
Patients are more satisfied when health care teams address tobacco use
Smoking cessation interventions during provider visits are associated with increased patient satisfaction with their care among those who smoke. Given this, providers should feel comfortable providing tobacco cessation assistance to tobacco users during office visits.
- Every member of a care team can help patients quit tobacco. If you work with patients, talk with the other members of your care team about the role each of you can play in determining whether patients use tobacco, encouraging them to quit and referring them to resources such as QUITPLAN® Services.
- In Minnesota, an example of coordinating care is the Health Care Home approach. A “health care home,” also called a “medical home,” is an approach to primary care in which primary care providers, families and patients work in partnership to improve health outcomes and quality of life for individuals with chronic health conditions and disabilities. Clinics throughout the state are certified as health care homes. Addressing tobacco use is an ideal candidate for such care coordination efforts.
Free resources are available
Every member of a health care team can make the opportunity to connect patients to cessation services. Any Minnesotan who wants to quit smoking can access services to help.
- QUITPLAN® Services is a free cessation program available to any Minnesotan who wants to quit tobacco, regardless of insurance status. The services can be accessed in both English and Spanish over the phone at 1-888-354-PLAN (7526) or online at quitplan.com. QUITPLAN Services includes free access to text messages, email support, a downloadable quit guide and free “starter kits,” which provide a two-week supply of nicotine patches, gum or lozenges to help tobacco users quit. In addition, tobacco users can speak to a quit coach over the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week for free support and help quitting.
- QUITPLAN Services was originally launched by ClearWay Minnesota in 2001 and has provided help to more than 100,000 Minnesotans trying to quit tobacco. Tobacco users can access all QUITPLAN Services at quitplan.com or by calling 1-888-354-PLAN (7526).
Call it Quits Referral Program
The Call it Quits Referral Program enables health care providers to use a single form and fax number to refer patients who use tobacco to quitline support, regardless of their insurance coverage. This allows providers to conduct brief interventions with their patients and easily connect them to appropriate tobacco quitline services. Visit the Call it Quits Referral Program for more information.
Print-ready provider resources
Below are links to helpful resources that already exist for providers to help their patients quit tobacco.
Checklists & fact sheets
- Waiting room poster, not pregnant (PDF) (QUITPLAN)
- Waiting room poster (8.5×11), pregnant (PDF) (QUITPLAN)
- Waiting room poster (11×17), pregnant (PDF) (QUITPLAN)
- Money saved tear pad (PDF) (QUITPLAN)