Free Webinar: What's New at NOBUTTS?

Posted by Lesley Copeland

Mar 3, 2015 12:00:25 PM


Kurtz_Phone_StackedPlease join us for a free 30-minute webinar on Wednesday, March 18 from 12:30 to 1 pm PST to hear about what’s new and exciting at the California Smokers' Helpline.  Find out about:

  • Free patches and incentives for qualified callers
  • Free texting program for tobacco users
  • Online initiatives including the new and improved Helpline website, online catalog, and web-based referral service
  • Future projects including a smartphone application, online chat for tobacco users, and e-referral for health care providers with electronic health records

Presenters are Chris Anderson, Project Director, and Kristin Harms, Communications Manager, with the California Smokers' Helpline.

Register Now!


The 4 Ds and 2 Rs for Dealing with Cravings and Urges

Posted by Gary Tedeschi, PhD

Feb 25, 2015 12:11:00 PM


So, you have quit smoking—congratulations! You have just taken one of the most important steps you can take to protect your health and the health of those around you.

However, you might be experiencing urges to smoke, particularly during the first few days. It’s important to remember that nicotine cravings do not last long--most last only 3 to 5 minutes. As time passes, they get weaker and come less often. You could still have some cravings, but they will just pass by. If you quit Cold Turkey, the nicotine will be out of your body after only 3 days.

Check out these tips from the American Cancer Society for dealing with cravings and urges.
California_Smokers_Hotline_13

The Four D’s

Try these techniques to get through those cravings:

Delay......................................Wait it out.

Distract yourself.................Do something else.

Deep breathe......................Release tension.

Drink water...........................Satisfy the craving.

For more ideas, click here.

The Two R’s:

And remember the two R’s:

Remind…………..Go over your reasons to quit.

Refuse……………Think: it’s not that you can’t smoke, it’s that you don’t want to smoke.

For More Information

For free, confidential help over the phone to quit smoking or to stay quit, please call the California Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS (1-800-662-8887) or register online for services. For more information, download our free fact sheet:

  Download Fact Sheet Now!

 


1. American Cancer Society. (2014, February 6). Guide to quitting smoking. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002971-pdf.pdsf

Andre. Smoked for 33 Years. Quit in 2012.

Posted by Andre Harrington

Feb 20, 2015 10:57:00 AM


"I started smoking at the age of 21 while in Europe vacationing in Florence, Italy.  I am 55 now and I can remember being mesmerized at all of the people in the bars drinking and smoking and how cool they looked doing it.  I would catch a glimpse of myself in the mirrors in the bar and I'd say to myself, 'Boy, you have arrived!'  Every one smoked in Europe.  And it was accepted everywhere.

At first I didn't like the taste of the cigarettes, but that would change the more that I drank.  I would grow to love everything about smoking and I vowed to never quit. The only thing that changed was that I changed from regular to menthol.  When I returned to the States I was looked upon as being different because I dressed and acted differently and I smoked! This would carry on for many years, too.

All of a sudden people near me started quitting and I would hear about cancer and magazine ads would appear that made me think about my 'best friend.'  This would have me to reevaluate my love affair with cigarettes and it is then that I would start trying to quit.

 Andre_Harrington

One night while watching television an ad from California Smokers' Helpline appeared and it really struck home with me. I called the next day and the folks at Helpline really listened to me. I was to receive the patches by mail and was told that I could call anytime. That was in 2012 and I am still a non-smoker. They told me I would have an occasional urge, but the urges would not last long as time went on.  And if I needed to I could call the Helpline.

I love being a non-smoker and if I can quit smoking, anyone can quit, especially with the help of California Smokers' Helpline."

Free Smokers' Helpline Services

Are You Through With Chew? Read On.

Posted by Kristin Harms

Feb 18, 2015 11:42:00 AM


This week is designated Through With Chew Week, to call attention to the dangers of using chew, which includes chewing tobacco, spit tobacco, dip, snus, and snuff.

Did you know that keeping an average size dip in your mouth for 30 minutes can give you as much nicotine as smoking three cigarettes? On average, chew products deliver a higher dose of nicotine than cigarettes making the product more habit forming.

Chew also contains at least 28 chemicals that have been found to cause cancer in the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas. Smokeless tobacco can also cause gum disease, heart disease, precancerous mouth sores, and cavities.


Cancer Causing Chemicals in Smokeless Tobacco

 Warning signs of possible health problems from chew include:

  • A lump in the neck
  • Change in voice
  • A growth or white spots inside the mouth
  • Swallowing problems
  • Persistent earache
  • Blood in saliva or phlegm
  • Changes in the skin

For more information about smokeless tobacco, please visit http://www.nobutts.org/chew or download our free fact sheet.

If you are ready to quit chew, please call the California Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS (1-800-662-8887) or register online by clicking the image below:

Free Smokers' Helpline Services

New Look. New Information. New Help.

Posted by Kristin Harms

Feb 12, 2015 11:59:55 AM

CSH-Website-ScreenShot

The California Smokers’ Helpline is pleased to announce the launch of its new website at www.nobutts.org, designed to give visitors immediate access to the information they need about smoking cessation. Whether you are a tobacco user, friend or family member, health care provider, behavioral health professional or community health educator, our goal is to provide the tools to help you, or the person you are helping, to quit successfully.

New Content

The site features new sections just for:

  • Tobacco users, friends and family members, health care providers, behavioral health professionals, and community-based organizations
  • Visitors who want information in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese
  • Health care providers with pages addressing the importance of quit attempts, how to talk to your patients about quitting smoking, treating special populations, pharmacotherapy, and other tobacco products
  • Behavioral health professionals with pages covering topics such as why clients with behavioral health conditions use tobacco, myths about tobacco use and behavioral health, and the role of behavioral health professionals in treating tobacco use

New and Improved Features

  • Easier to find online registration for Helpline services, the web-based referral service, and the texting program
  • New sections describing the evidence base for Helpline services, Helpline referral options, and free training for health professionals from the Center for Tobacco Cessation
  • Special projects involving the Helpline including the Asian Smokers’ Helpline, CEASE California, Center for Tobacco Cessation, Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit (MIQS) Project, UC Quits, and Kids and Tobacco Smoke Don’t Quit
  • New online catalog at www.nobutts-catalog.org, offering a variety of free fact sheets, flyers, posters, online training and other materials and resources for quitting smoking targeted to a variety of user groups. Many resources have been updated, are available in multiple languages and most may be viewed or downloaded directly from the site.

Stay Up to Date

We plan to offer a variety of new webinars, materials and blog articles for health professionals in the coming months, so sign up for email or blog updates (at right) to stay informed.

We Want Your Feedback!

We hope you are as excited as we are about our new website and invite you to take a brief 5-question survey about it. We will continue to add new features and content to the site in the coming months and so welcome your feedback.

Take the survey now!

Free Web-Based Referral Service for Evidence-Based Tobacco Cessation

Posted by Kristin Harms

Jul 8, 2014 1:06:00 PM

Join hundreds of health professionals throughout California who are referring their patients quickly and easily to the free, evidence-based, tobacco cessation services of the California Smokers’ Helpline via our web-based referral service.

Studies have shown that smokers who use Helpline counseling are twice as likely to quit as those who don’t. Seventy percent of smokers visit a physician at least once a year and according to the U.S. Public Health Service Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: Clinical Practice Guideline, 2008 Update, “Telephone quitline counseling is effective with diverse populations and has broad reach. Therefore, both clinicians and health care delivery systems should ensure patient access to quitlines and promote quitline use.”

Listen to Jyothi Marbin, MD, of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, and JoAnne Roy, LVN, of San Franciso General Hospital talk about the benefits of the Helpline's cessation services and web-based referral service as well as successful Helpline clients talk about their experience:

Register now for the Helpline's web-based referral service and start referring your patients quickly and easily:

  Register for Web-Based Referral

Free Web-Based Referral Service for Evidence-Based Tobacco Cessation

Posted by Kristin Harms

Jul 8, 2014 11:01:26 AM

Web-based referral serviceJoin hundreds of health professionals throughout California who are referring their patients quickly and easily to the free, evidence-based, tobacco cessation services of the California Smokers’ Helpline via our web-based referral service.

Studies have shown that smokers who use Helpline counseling are twice as likely to quit as those who don’t. Seventy percent of smokers visit a physician at least once a year and according to the U.S. Public Health Service Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: Clinical Practice Guideline, 2008 Update, “Telephone quitline counseling is effective with diverse populations and has broad reach. Therefore, both clinicians and health care delivery systems should ensure patient access to quitlines and promote quitline use.”


Listen to Jyothi Marbin, MD, of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, and JoAnne Roy, LVN, of San Franciso General Hospital talk about the benefits of the Helpline's cessation services and web-based referral service as well as successful Helpline clients talk about their experience:


Register now for the Helpline's web-based referral service and start referring your patients quickly and easily:

Register for Web-Based Referral

The California Smokers Helpline Celebrates National Nurses Week

Posted by Kristin Harms

May 6, 2014 5:57:00 PM

describe the imageDuring National Nurses Week, the California Smokers' Helpline would like to extend a special thank you to nurses throughout California. As the #1 trusted profession in the U.S., according to annual Gallup polls, nurses are in the perfect position to treat the #1 preventable cause of death, illness and suffering in California--tobacco use. When health care providers provide brief, simple advice about quitting smoking, they increase the likelihood that patients will quit and remain quit a year later.

The landmark 1988 California Tobacco Tax and Health Promotion Act (Proposition 99) made California the first state to implement a comprehensive tobacco control program. Since its inception 20 years ago, the California Tobacco Control Program has been charged with reducing tobacco use across the state and with decreasing tobacco-related disease and death by protecting Californians from secondhand smoke.

Significant progress has been made since 1988 as tobacco consumption has dramatically decreased and health outcomes have improved. Even lung and bronchial cancers have declined much faster in California than in the rest of the United States. Yet despite this progress, over 3.6 million Californians still smoke and prevalence is still high in certain groups.

According to the Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence Clinical Practice Guideline, 2008 Update, “tobacco use presents a rare confluence of circumstances:

  1. a highly significant health threat;
  2. a disinclination among clinicians to intervene consistently; and
  3. the presence of effective interventions.

This last point is buttressed by evidence that tobacco dependence interventions, if delivered in a timely and effective manner, significantly reduce the smokers risk of suffering from smoking-related disease. Indeed, it is difficult to identify any other condition that presents such a mix of lethality, prevalence, and neglect, despite effective and readily available interventions.”

We invite nurses throughout California to leverage new technologies to help alleviate this significant public health burden by registering for the Helpline's web-based referral service at http://www.nobutts.org/referral/register.aspx

Thank you for your continuing efforts to lead the way for your patients, your colleagues, and organizations within the health care industry.

Health Insurers Must Cover Evidence-Based Cessation Treatments

Posted by Kristin Harms

May 2, 2014 11:59:00 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  May 2, 2014
CONTACT:    Peter Hamm, 202-296-5469

Obama Administration Tells Health Insurers They Must Cover Evidence-Based Treatments to Help Smokers Quit 

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

WASHINGTON – The Obama Administration today has taken a much-needed step to help smokers and other tobacco users quit by making clear the minimum, evidence-based tobacco cessation services that health insurers are required to cover under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Today the Administration posted, in a Frequently Asked Questions format, a clear statement that tells insurers they must cover, without cost-sharing, screening for tobacco use and tobacco cessation services for those who use tobacco products that includes at least two cessation attempts per year.  The Administration stated that coverage should include four tobacco counseling sessions of at least 10 minutes each (including telephone, group and/or individual counseling) and all Food and Drug Administration-approved tobacco cessation medications, including both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

This direction to insurers is an essential step toward fulfilling the promise of the law to help more tobacco users quit.  It establishes a minimum standard for what insurers must cover and provides tobacco users with an important tool to help them get the required coverage and treatment.  It is critical that the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal departments effectively enforce this standard and ensure that insurers provide the necessary coverage, especially given the evidence that many so far have failed to do so.

The ACA requires all new private health insurance plans to cover preventive health services recommended with an A or B grade by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, with no cost-sharing such as co-pays.  Tobacco cessation treatments received an A grade, with the task force finding that a combination of medication and counseling is most effect at helping tobacco users quit.

However, evidence indicates that many health plans are not covering the cessation services that have been proven to help tobacco users quit.  Both this year’s Surgeon General’s report on smoking and a 2012 report by Georgetown University researchers found that tobacco cessation treatment coverage mandated by the ACA varies significantly across private health insurance contracts.  The document issued today will help ensure that tobacco users have evidence-based coverage for cost-free medication and counseling that can help them quit successfully and that is required by the law.  

The new Surgeon General’s report released in January (The Health Consequences of Smoking – 50 Years of Progress) underscored the importance of doing more to help tobacco users quit.  The report found that smoking is even more hazardous and takes an even greater toll on the nation’s health than previously reported.  It found that smoking annually kills 480,000 Americans – causing about one in every five deaths – and costs at least $289 billion in medical bills and other economic losses.  As the Surgeon General’s report notes, in 2011 nearly 70 percent of adult smokers indicated they wanted to stop smoking and 43 percent had made a quite attempt.

Noting that the “current rate of progress in tobacco control is not fast enough,” the report calls for a number of specific actions, including “fulfilling the opportunity of the Affordable Care Act to provide access to barrier-free proven tobacco use cessation treatment including counseling and medication to all smokers.”

A 2012 study conducted for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids by Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute found that many health insurance plans were failing to provide the coverage mandated by the ACA for treatments to help tobacco users quit. Specifically, researchers found that only four of the 39 private plans analyzed clearly covered a full-range of evidence-based tobacco cessation services (i.e., individual, group and phone counseling and both prescription and over-the-counter tobacco cessation medications). Contract language for these plans often contained vague or conflicting language that made it impossible to determine which, if any, tobacco cessation services were covered. When the extent of coverage could be determined, many of these plans excluded coverage of prescription and/or OTC medications for tobacco cessation and excluded certain types of counseling. Also troubling, some of the plans analyzed impose cost-sharing requirements for tobacco cessation treatments.

The results of this study prompted the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups to call on federal officials to clarify to insurers that the full range of cessation services should be covered without cost sharing.  By doing so today, the Administration will help more smokers quit, saving lives and health care dollars.

Smokers with Mental Illness Want to Quit, Too

Posted by Kristin Harms

Apr 28, 2014 2:39:00 PM

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Smokers with mental illness and substance use disorders want to quit and can quit successfully.  And behavioral health professionals can help. Tobacco cessation is a key component of many individuals’ recovery and should be a priority issue for every healthcare provider.

Tobacco use among populations with behavioral health conditions is a critical health disparity. Individuals living with behavioral health conditions are dying 25 years earlier than the general population. The major causes of death are tobacco-related cancer, heart disease, and lung disease.

Behavioral health professionals are uniquely positioned to help their clients who smoke quit because they are often the clinician the client sees most, and who knows the client best. In addition, behavioral health professionals:

  • Are trained in mental health and/or substance abuse treatment
  • Are able to coordinate pharmacotherapy and behavioral/counseling treatment; and
  • Can identify and address any changes in psychiatric symptoms during the quit attempt.

Talk to your patients and offer them assistance in quitting.  Many of the treatment strategies that work for smokers without behavioral health issues (e.g., cessation pharmacotherapy and behavioral counseling) can work for this clientele as well. 

For additional help and resources, click here to download the following free continuing education and materials developed by the California Smokers’ Helpline:

  • Fact Sheet: Tobacco Cessation for Smokers with Mental Illness or Substance Use Disorders.
  • Slide Presentation: Tobacco Cessation and Behavioral Health
  • Online CE Training: Tobacco Cessation and Behavioral Health. Continuing education credits available to physicians, nurses, physician assistants, MFTs, LCSWs, and NAADAC certified counselors.

Download Materials Now!




About this Blog

The California Smokers' Helpline offers free, evidence-based tobacco cessation services in multiple languages to help smokers quit. We also offer free training and resources to health professionals to increase their knowledge and capacity for tobacco cessation.

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Contact Us

For more information about our free training and resources for health professionals, please contact the Helpline Communications Department at (858) 300-1010 or cshoutreach@ucsd.edu.