Did you know that the global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year? More than 10% of these deaths are of non-smokers dying from second-hand smoke. May 31st, 2015 marked World No Tobacco Day. Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners highlight the health risks of tobacco use and advocate for decreasing tobacco consumption.
Did you know that CHCI’s patient population includes 18,000 active smokers? Here at CHCI, we are proud to be taking steps to decrease tobacco usage and provide resources to those who want to quit smoking.
Last year, Connecticut’s Department of Social Services partnered with Yale University and Community Health Network to launch the Rewards to Quit Program, a new program that gives current adult smokers with Medicaid insurance the opportunity to earn financial incentives as they participate in activities to quit smoking. Patients are able to utilize resources such as individual and/or group counseling, the CT QuitLine, and breathalyzer tests to help them quit.
In early May, the program celebrated a major milestone by enrolling its 1,000th patient! As the Rewards to Quit program continues to enroll more adult smokers with Medicaid insurance, we seek to provide patients of all ages and insurance statuses with access to smoking cessation services through future initiatives. Two additional programs, Commit to Quit and Adolescent Rewards to Quit will be implemented to provide non-Medicaid adult smokers as well as adolescent smokers with resources to help them quit. This week, members of the research team at CHCI’s Weitzman Institute are speaking about strategies for implementing smoking cessation programs and recruiting patients at federally qualified health centers at the 2015 Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) Conference.
Through these smoking cessation programs we join the World Health Organization and its partners in their effort to reduce tobacco consumption.
– By Sayali Ghatpande