Tobacco is the world’s leading cause of preventable death.Its by-products include cancer, emphysema, heart events, and a host of other chronic and often fatal conditions that plague members and drain the health care system nationwide.
But people still smoke or chew tobacco, because it’s a tough addiction to quit — even if one really wants to.
Kaiser Permanente Northern California has committed to helping 50,000 members successfully quit tobacco by the end of 2015. Clinicians and staff were asked to participate in the 50,000 Quitters campaign, a concerted effort to get 50,000 members to quit tobacco by the end of 2015. As of June 2015, the campaign has resulted in 10,000 documented “quitters”—that is, the number of Northern California members reporting being “former” smokers.
The method for getting members to quit is multi-pronged: screening for tobacco use status, advising patients to quit, and connecting them with evidence-based treatment plans that include behavioral strategies and cessation medications, like the Quitting Tobacco program below.