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Statewide Tobacco Cessation

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Tobacco Cessation Community Coalition

% of 802Quits callers who heard about the 802Quits from a health professional

21%Q2 2020

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Story Behind the Curve

Last Updated: September 2020

Author: Tobacco Control Program, Vermont Department of Health


The proportion of callers who heard about the Quitline from a Health Professional has been fluctuating between 19-39% over the past 2 years. The Vermont Tobacco Control Program has started to implement promotional efforts to healthcare professionals describing the tobacco benefits available to them through Medicaid and the Quitline, stressing the importance of provider referrals, and encouraging them to talk with patients about tobacco and making a referral to the Quitline. Quarter 1 of 2019 shows an uptick due to these efforts, however in the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020, we see a decrease in referrals from Health Professionals. 

Vermont's Quitline contractor provides the program with a monthly “How Did You Hear" report detailing how callers report hearing about the Quitline. The program recognizes the importance of providers talking with their patients about the Quitline and aims to see the proportion of callers who report hearing about the Quitline from a healthcare professional increase over time to 35%. Up to fairly recently, the program had used brochure racks and community engagement. Over the past year the program has modernized its approach to reach and engage healthcare providers and their role of increasing cessation activity.

Partners
  • National Jewish Health (NJH): The Tobacco Program's contractor which provides the Quitline and Quit Online in English, Spanish and other languages per translation services, an incentive-based pregnancy protocol, and text messaging support.
  • Rescue: The Tobacco Program's contractor which provides behavior change media interventions and communication tools for youth and adults including the CounterBalance campaign, 802quits.org and adult cessation media. Rescue works with several other companies that have expertise in provider engagement including CrowdProof and Upstream.
What Works

Increasing provider awareness of the Quitline and their important role in talking with patients about quitting will help to turn the curve. Research shows that providers can strongly influence a patient's smoking outcomes through motivational interviewing and other patient-centered approaches. Healthcare professionals of all types, be it dental hygienists or oncologists, are in a respected position to reach patients and encourage positive quit outcomes. Through increased provider education around cessation resources the proportion of Quitline callers who report hearing about the Quitline from their provider will increase.

Action Plan
  • In FY2020, the program plans to continue its outreach to providers to encourage them to promote the Quitline, talk with patients, and make referrals. This outreach can take the form of targeted communications, disseminating health advisories, ads in medical newsletters, e-blasts, trainings and Grand Rounds presentations.
  • The VTCP will continue its partnership with other chronic disease programs to increase provider education around the Quitline with oncologists, dental hygienists, diabetes educators and other health professionals.
  • The program will seek to present on 802quits.org to providers and those who work closely with healthcare teams one or more medical conferences.
  • The program will test the userability of the updated provider section of 802Quits and continue to promote it through multiple channels.
Notes on Methodology
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