Thursday, November 17, 2011

Great American Smokeout - ASK, ADVISE and REFER!

Today is the Great American Smokeout!  In support of the day, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Prevention Services Division is urging Colorado smokers to talk to their health care providers about quitting smoking. Because tobacco cessation coverage is mandated under state and federal health care reform legislation, the state health department will provide you with the tools you need to work with your patients addicted to tobacco.

Research shows that smokers who use comprehensive tobacco cessation services are four times more likely to quit for good. Coloradans depend on their doctors and other health care providers to counsel them about healthy living and will respond to sincere, detailed instructions on how to quit smoking.

Remember to:

  • ASK every patient at each encounter about tobacco use and document his/her status.
  • ADVISE every tobacco user to quit with a clear, strong personalized health message about the benefits of quitting.
  • REFER patients who are ready to quit using tobacco within the next 30 days to the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or to your health plan’s cessation service.
The Colorado QuitLine, operated by National Jewish Health, is an evidence-based tobacco cessation intervention that includes as many as five proactive telephonic counseling sessions and nicotine replace therapy (patches) or other medications for eligible smokers. QuitLine coaches are trained to help smokers create a plan to end their tobacco addictions and develop confidence and coping skills to remain free of tobacco.

A special program to help pregnant women quit smoking during pregnancy and stay smoke-free after the baby is born is available through the Colorado QuitLine. Pregnant women receive as many as nine free personal coaching calls – all from the same coach - from pregnancy through postpartum. Pregnant women receive supportive text messages throughout and earn discounts on mother and baby products to reward success.

Health care providers may access free posters, patient educational materials, fax referral forms and pharmacotherapy guidelines at the Colorado QuitLine Resource Page. Please use these tools to educate your patients on the importance of quitting smoking. And when your patients or clients call during this year’s Great American Smokeout, please remember to ASK, ADVISE and REFER.

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