NACCHO, District of Columbia
July 20, 2017
NACCHO, District of Columbia
July 20, 2017
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC’s) Tips from Former Smokers™ Campaign encourages tobacco users to quit by sharing real‐life experiences of smokers. In 2017, NACCHO partnered with the CDC to provide technical assistance to three local health departments (LHDs) and their associated healthcare providers to examine whether the placement of Tips™ materials would increase cessation conversations between providers and patients.
To accomplish this project, LHD staff worked with clinical staff to track the baseline number of healthcare provider – patient cessation conversations happening before Tips™ materials were placed into the clinics. Then, LHD staff placed Tips™ video and print materials (which are always free‐of‐charge from the CDC), into clinic waiting rooms, patient rooms. Clinic staff were educated on evidence‐based tobacco cessation intervention strategies (e.g. the 5As) and free tobacco cessation resources, like state QuitLines. For the next eight weeks, clinic staff tracked the number of tobacco cessation conversations occurring between patients and clinic staff. The data from each LHD demonstrates how the placement of Tips™ materials in clinical settings is an easy, low‐cost approach to increasing tobacco cessation.
Public Health Solutions (PHS) is a district public health department serving roughly 52,000 people across Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Saline, and Thayer counties in rural Nebraska. The region faces a number of challenges when compared to the rest of the state, including population shrinkage, job loss, aging population, higher levels of poverty, poor health status, and lower levels of educational attainment. The mission of PHS is to prevent disease, injury, promote health, and protect personal, community, and environmental health of all. During the most recent five‐county community health assessment, PHS found that 63% of respondents who use tobacco were interested in quitting the use of tobacco products.In response, PHS integrated a range of tobacco cessation strategies into its case‐navigation services, home‐visitation programs, and healthy lifestyle/ cancer prevention program. PHS is unique among LHDs in that it has an onsite dental clinic. Routine dental exams include an oral cancer screening, and tobacco cessation is encouraged to maintain a healthy mouth. PHS also has a “Life of Smiles” program that educates parents and children on healthy oral care habits including what causes cavities, and how tobacco can affect mouth health.
To support the integration of the Tips™ campaign materials at the dental clinic, the PHS Dental Program Coordinator developed, lead the program and served as a liaison between the clinic and LHD. At PHS, she posted print Tips™ campaign materials in the waiting room, on the front door, and in public bathrooms. PHS also played video messaging in the waiting room. At the dental clinic, print media was placed the waiting room, patient bathrooms, all provider patient rooms, and procedure room. Staff and healthcare providers at the dental clinic were trained on initiating cessation conversations with patients and on the availability of free cessation resources, including the state QuitLine. A medical assistant screened for tobacco use during patient intake. The provider then analyzed the amount and frequency of tobacco use, assessed the patient’s readiness to quit, and identified barriers to quitting (e.g., money, time, and relationships). Depending on the patient’s readiness to quit and barriers to quitting, the provider shared Tips™ materials.
During the 10‐week implementation period, PHS found a 200% increase in cessation conversations in June compared to the baseline data in April. Data was consistent throughout the entire project and remained steady with June being the most productive month. Several key factors might have facilitated the adoption of the Tips™ campaign across the dental clinic. Providers commented that having the Tips™ campaign materials in every room created an environment where providers could more readily discuss smoking cessation options with the patient. PHS observed that clients did not want to openly ask about cessation or discuss their smoking habits, so it was useful to have the cessation conversations prompted by the LHD staff or the provider. PHS found the Tips™ campaign materials resonated with patients and providers more than previously used materials. PHS does intend to continue this initiative. They feel it is important for the public to know that there is a resource where they can receive the help they need to quit and improve their health. For more information on this program or Public Health Solutions, please contact Carmen Chinchilla at firstname.lastname@example.org.