Vermont Tobacco Control Program, updated February 2020
57% of Vermont adult smokers made an attempt to quit smoking in the last year. This is the same as among U.S. adults. There were no statistically significant differences in quit attempts based on gender, age, education level, annual household income, disability status or race. The proportion of smokers making a quit attempt has remained statistically similar since 2011. Every year the Tobacco Control Program publishes a Cessation Report which offers more details on the services provided and their utilization. The program has a specific Medicaid Tobacco Initiative to focus efforts and offer comprehensive services to reduce the higher smoking rates of Medicaid-insured members, which has resulted in increased quit ratio and decreased prevalence.
In the past decade, the percent of adult smokers who attempted to quit smoking has fluctuated from a low of 48% in 2003 to a high of 62% in 2010 and 2012. In 2017 BRFSS, 59% of adult smokers reported an attempt to quit smoking in the previous year. A quit attempt is defined as quitting smoking for at least 24 hours. The Tobacco Control Program has set its target as 80% and uses media, partnership engagement, and training with providers to help meet this goal.
The Tobacco Control Program is actively engaged in multiple strategies to increase quit attempts among adult smokers. The VTCP partners with the Vermont Medicaid program to conduct outreach among low-income smokers and providers. Raising awareness of the tobacco benefit available to them is key. In 2017 - 2019 the program conducted research with providers each year to understand better what clinicians and care teams need to perform screening, provide tobacco treatment and refer to 802Quits. Using these findings over the past two years the program has improved the navigability and content of its 802Quits website.
In addition, the Program engages in two to three mass-reach media campaigns every year to reach Vermonters through TV, bus and digital ads. The VTCP launches these cessation media flights with 30-sec spots that include the emotional and effective CDC TIPS ads from Former Smokers and ads that the program tailors to the "perceived effectiveness" as rated by Vermonters who use tobacco. An ad, Meet Ana, for example, shares Ana's story of dealing with anxiety and bipolar disorder and being able to quit through 802Quits and its free resources.