The NYS Smokers’ Quitline continues to provide a much needed service helping NYS residents stop smoking and chewing tobacco. In 2014, the Quitline assisted 80,266 callers, 1,953 of these calls were from North Country residents. Calls per county follow.
More than half of our region’s callers (1,013) received a free two week supply of the nicotine patch to help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms once they stopped smoking.
A picture of who called the Quitline from the North Country is derived from information collected by Quitline specialists. The callers were predominately male (60%), between the ages of 25 and 54 (68%), smoked a lot (62% smoked a minimum or a pack a day) and were uninsured (25%) or insured by Medicaid (30%).
How many tobacco users were referred directly to the Quitline by their health care provider?
A tobacco user’s health care provider can fax or electronically refer their patients to the NYS Smokers’ Quitline. Upon receiving a referral, a Quitline coach calls the individual within 72 hours, helps the individual create a quit plan and screens their eligibility for a free 2-week sample of nicotine replacement therapy. The Quitline coach provides a summary of the call’s outcome to the referring provider. Direct referrals for assistance almost doubled in 2014 (342) compared to 2013 (177). If you take a look at the chart above, you’ll see that a majority of these referrals were from Franklin County (265). About 2/3 of these were from Alice Hyde Medical Center’s primary care clinics.
In 2015 we anticipate more provider referrals to the Quitline will be realized as health care systems develop and implement policies that prioritize evidence based treatment of tobacco in order to prevent, reduce, and control chronic disease.