Tobacco has long been known to be highly addictive and cause a variety of chronic health problems, many of which end in death.
Despite this knowledge, tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable chronic disease and premature death in the United States. In New York State 18.1% of adults smoke (NYS BRFSS, 2011), yet in Franklin County, the rate is much higher, 29.7%.. (ATFN survey, 2011)
Winning the war on tobacco requires not only programs that support individuals trying to quit, but also health systems changes that make getting their patients to quit smoking a priority for doctors and nurses during every office visit. These Changes can include:
- Modified Electronic Health Records that better record smoking status, history, and brief counseling options.
- Systems level quality initiatives ensuring healthcare providers meet certain goals in treating their patient.
- Continuing education on the latest tobacco research and counseling techniques.
The Heart Network has partnered with Glens Falls Hospital to work with Health Systems (hospitals, medical groups, medical home programs) in the following way:
1. To help health systems create a formal plan of action focused on making changes like the ones mentioned above.
2. once a plan is in place, provide technical assistance and training to make that plan a reality.
3. To work with relevant organizations and groups that are able to assist in this process.
In addition we also promote the services of the NYS Smokers’ Quitline. A FREE counseling service available to all NYS residents at 1-866-NYQUITS which can also provide FREE nicotine patches to eligible callers.