Last Updated: September 2020
Author: Tobacco Control Program, Vermont Department of Health
The proportion of callers who heard about the Quitline from a Health Professional has been fluctuating between 19-39% over the past 2 years. The Vermont Tobacco Control Program has started to implement promotional efforts to healthcare professionals describing the tobacco benefits available to them through Medicaid and the Quitline, stressing the importance of provider referrals, and encouraging them to talk with patients about tobacco and making a referral to the Quitline. Quarter 1 of 2019 shows an uptick due to these efforts, however in the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020, we see a decrease in referrals from Health Professionals.
Vermont's Quitline contractor provides the program with a monthly “How Did You Hear" report detailing how callers report hearing about the Quitline. The program recognizes the importance of providers talking with their patients about the Quitline and aims to see the proportion of callers who report hearing about the Quitline from a healthcare professional increase over time to 35%. Up to fairly recently, the program had used brochure racks and community engagement. Over the past year the program has modernized its approach to reach and engage healthcare providers and their role of increasing cessation activity.
Increasing provider awareness of the Quitline and their important role in talking with patients about quitting will help to turn the curve. Research shows on best-practices for smoking cessation interventions in primary care shows that providers can strongly influence a patient's smoking outcomes through motivational interviewing and other patient-centered approaches. Healthcare professionals of all types, be it dental hygienists or oncologists, are in a respected position to reach patients and encourage positive quit outcomes. Through increased provider education around cessation resources the proportion of Quitline callers who report hearing about the Quitline from their provider will increase.