Free, New Patient Materials from the California Smokers' Helpline

Posted by Kristin Harms

Sep 22, 2016 4:34:08 PM


The California Smokers' Helpline is pleased to offer free, new patient materials in English and Spanish, targeted to smokers who are pregnant or have children age 5 and under. These materials are available free of charge and shipping, and while there is no maximum order size, each order must total a minimum of 25 pieces.

In addition to promoting the Helpline's free evidence-based telephone counseling services, the materials promote free nicotine patches for qualified smokers who are pregnant or have children age 5 or under, mailed directly from the Helpline.

Helpline staff screen callers who request nicotine patches for contraindications, including pregnancy. For callers with contraindications, physician approval is required.

These new materials and free nicotine patches are made possible by funding from First 5 California.

Order Materials Now!


Webinar: Two and a half years; has the sheen worn off marijuana legalization?

Posted by Lesley Copeland

Sep 16, 2016 3:28:20 PM

The California Smokers’ Helpline and its training and technical assistance arm, the Center for Tobacco Cessation, are pleased to host this free webinar on Thursday, September 29th from noon to 1 pm PST,  "Two and a half years; has the sheen worn off marijuana legalization?"

Register Now!

Webinar Overview

In January 2014 Colorado became the first in the nation to legalize retail marijuana sales. What do we know about the relationship between marijuana and tobacco? How have perceptions of harm and prevalence been effected? Join us for a presentation of some early findings from youth and adults. Ask questions about what may be in store for California and what opportunities exist for tobacco control. 

About the Presenter

Carsten-Baumann-web.jpgCarsten Baumann, MA serves as the Manager of the Early Childhood Evaluation Unit and the Manager of External Evaluations at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and operates his own evaluation consultancy. Carsten possesses more than twenty-five years experience in applied social science research.

He is primarily responsible for the design and implementation of an overall plan for measuring the effectiveness of the Department’s tobacco-tax funded grants programs, including the State Tobacco Education & Prevention Program; the Cancer, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease Grants Program and the Office of Health Equity Grants Program. These programs distribute about $37 million in grants annually. Carsten also leads the quality improvement and evaluation for Colorado’s Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs and serves as an evaluation consultant to other prevention programs.

He has applied his skills to strategic planning, evaluation, program design and training. He also provides consultation to other states, foundations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on evaluations of systems change, tobacco control, physical activity and nutrition interventions. Additionally, he has conducted workshops on economic evaluation nationally.


Free CE Course: Smoking and Anxiety

Posted by Kristin Harms

Aug 29, 2016 3:07:30 PM

Older-Woman.jpgThe California Smokers’ Helpline is pleased to ofer this free recorded webinar, How to Talk with Patients About Smoking Cessation and Anxiety.

The relationship between anxiety and smoking is a significant concern among health professionals. Smokers often use cigarettes to help them manage anxiety. This reliance on cigarettes to reduce anxiety can keep smokers from even trying to quit. And if they do quit, anxiety can trigger relapse. This webinar will address key strategies to help smokers with anxiety to quit.

Click below to complete the form and you’ll be able to watch the webinar and download the course materials. You can also take the course for 1.0 free CE credit. The following credits are being offered: CA BBS, APA, ASWB, CAADE, and CME.

Get Started Now

Target Audience

This course is designed for primary care providers and behavioral health professionals interested in the most current research and effective interventions surrounding smoking cessation and anxiety.


At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss the evidence regarding tobacco use among patients with anxiety
  • Talk with patients or clients about the relationship between anxiety and tobacco cessation
  • Identify and implement evidence-based treatment for treating tobacco dependence


Megan Piper, PhD

Megan-Piper.jpgDr. Piper is a licensed clinical psychologist and the Associate Director of Research at UW-Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention and an Assistant Professor in the University of Wisconsin Department of Medicine. Her research focuses on understanding and treating tobacco dependence, with an additional interest in different populations of smokers who have more difficulty quitting, such as women and smokers with mental illness. Dr. Piper began her research on tobacco treatment in 1999 when she collaborated on the Public Health Service Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence that was published in 2000. She then served as the Project Scientist for the 2008 PHS Guideline update. In 2014 she received the Russell-Jarvik Young Investigator Award for her contributions to the field from the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.


Health care providers missing important opportunity to help smokers quit

Posted by Kristin Harms

Aug 15, 2016 1:37:12 PM

Providers' advice concerning smoking cessation: Evidence from the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey.

2016 Jul 28;91:32-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.07.012. [Epub ahead of print]


We estimate how often adult smokers are advised to quit using a nationally representative sample of adults in the United States.


Data are from the 2012-2013 household component of the United States (US) Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS).


Current smoking and advice to quit offered by providers.


Smoking was reported by 18.26% (CI 17.13%-19.38%) of 2012 MEPS respondents. Less than half of adult smokers (47.24%, CI 44.30%-50.19%) were advised to quit by their physicians although 17.57% (CI 15.37%-19.76%) had not seen a doctor in the last 12months. Advice to quit was given significantly less often to respondents classified as: aged 18-44 (40.29%), men (40.20%), less educated (42.26%), lower family income (43.51%), Hispanic (33.82%), never married (39.55%), and living outside the northeast. Smoking status at year 2 for patients who had received advice to quit was similar (85.13%: SE 1.62%) to those who had seen a physician but were not advised to quit (81.95%: SE 2.05%). Advice to quit smoking was less common than the use of common medical screening tests.


Smoking cessation advice is given to less than half of current cigarette smokers and it is least likely to be given to the most vulnerable populations. Efforts to reduce smoking are deployed less often than other preventive practices. The rate of advice to quit has not changed over the last decade. Health care providers are missing an important opportunity to affect health behaviors and outcomes.

Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.


New Provider Referral Options

Posted by Carrie Kirby

Aug 11, 2016 3:16:59 PM

JyothiMarbin_stethoscope.jpgIn addition to our free web-based referral service, the California Smokers' Helpline is pleased to offer two new, fee for service options for health care providers interested in referring their patients who smoke to our free, evidence-based smoking cessation services.

In 2015, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) determined that the California Smokers’ Helpline meets the Specialized Registry Reporting measure. Eligible professionals can choose to report smokers to the Helpline as part of their Meaningful Use Compliance.

  • DIRECT/Secure Email: Utilizing the Direct Project, which was launched in March 2010 as a part of the Nationwide Health Information Network, health professionals can utilize easy and affordable clinical messaging to send patient referrals to the Helpline. Direct email messages are secure, which means that providers can use them to send patient information to the Helpline and individual level referral data may be sent back to the health professional. 
  • Other Internet Options: For health professionals who utilize Electronic Health Records, the Helpline can set up a secure, HL7 2.X type interface so that patient referrals are sent securely to the Helpline and individual level referral data may be sent back to the health professional. Transport options supported include LLP, TCP/IP, SFTP, and web services. 

Pricing for fee for service options depends on a variety of factors. To find out which option is best and most affordable for your practice, please click below to complete an online form.

Get Started Now

Winners of 2016 California Helpline Promotion Contest

Posted by Beth Olagues, MPH, CHES

Aug 1, 2016 5:07:38 PM

A contest among local tobacco control programs and community tobacco control advocates in California was held during May of 2016. The contest provided an opportunity for local projects to share their efforts in promoting the California Smokers' Helpline. Twenty-two entries were submitted by projects throughout California to showcase the creative and thoughtful ways that tobacco control advocates are promoting the Helpline in local communities. While all entries were excellent, and the competition was tough, the California Tobacco Control Program is pleased to announce the winners of the contest in the following four categories.

Congratulations to all the 2016 Awards for Excellence in California Helpline Promotion winners and thank you to all tobacco control advocates who submitted their work. The California Tobacco Control Program encourages local and statewide projects to continue their efforts to promote the California Smokers’ Helpline and reduce tobacco use in your community. Contact information is listed for each winning entry if you would like more information.

Please contact Kristin Harms at the California Smokers' Helpline at (858) 300-1011 or if you would like to plan and implement a Helpline promotional campaign in your community.

Best Print Project
Sutter County Community Marketing Campaign
Category includes brochures, flyers, posters, and signage

Sutter_A_Frame.pngSince June of 2015, A-frame signage has been used to promote tobacco-free environments and workspaces throughout Sutter County and the surrounding community. 

In January of 2016, the county tobacco control program purchased additional signs to meet increasing demand from local agencies to display messaging at their location.

Furthermore, several agencies including the City of Yuba City ordered personalized A-frame signage for their sites and events using the Sutter County template and adding their own logo.  A total of 16 signs have been distributed throughout the community at various locations and community events to promote tobacco-free community messaging.

For more information on this campaign, contact Kara Gash at Sutter County Health and Human Services at or (530) 822-7215 ext. 276

Best Internet & New Media Project
California Youth Advocacy Network,
Facebook Ad: Every Day is a Great Day to Quit Tobacco

Category includes websites, social media, web-based training, and web banners

CYAN_FB_Ad.pngThis Facebook ad was part of a larger web-based campaign aimed at encouraging US Military service members and veterans to quit tobacco. This ad was one of six, and it was the best performing message of the set.

The message was displayed via a Facebook ad to service members in California. In total, over a period of one and a half months, the ad was viewed by 97,542 individuals, and it generated 3,233 clicks to the California Smokers’ Helpline website.   

For more information on this campaign, contact Kim Homer Vagadori at the California Youth Advocacy Network at or (916) 339-3424 ext. 22

Best Audio/Video Project  
United Indian Health Services,
Ask, Advise, Refer - Show that You Care Presentation Kit

Category includes audio/visual ads, and special projects or community presentations

AAR_Show_You_Care.pngThe Native Tobacco Project created a presentation and associated handouts and materials for tobacco cessation education with American Indian community agencies and community agencies serving the American Indian population.

This presentation kit is tailored to promote Ask, Advise, Refer and encourage promotion of the California Smokers’ Helpline. Extensive collaboration between the Native Tobacco Project, Del Norte County and Humboldt County tobacco programs resulted in this special community presentation project.

For more information on this presentation kit, contact Nick Corcovelos at United Indian Health Service at or (707) 464-8218.

Best Media Relations Project
UC Quits, Press Release
Category includes news releases, op/eds, media kits, and e-blasts

UC_Quits_Sac_Bee.jpgA press release was issued by the University of California (UC) Davis to describe the UC Quits project that highlighted the Helpline eReferral.  The goal was to educate the general public about how the 5 UC medical centers were connecting to the California Smokers’ Helpline through electronic health records system. 

The press release resulted in approximately 500 online hits per GoogleAlert, and was picked up by several publications including the Sacramento Bee.

For more information on this press release, contact Cindy Vela at or (916) 703-5654.

Summer Inventory Clearance!

Posted by Cherrie Ng

Jul 7, 2016 4:55:16 PM


While supplies last, the California Smokers' Helpline is offering a limited number of Helpline materials free of charge and shipping! This is a special event to reduce our inventory of patient materials. There is no maximum order size but each order must total a minimum of 25 pieces.

Order Materials Now!


California Smokers' Helpline Designated a Specialized Registry

Posted by Carrie Kirby

Jul 1, 2016 12:33:34 PM

Black-Doctor--White-Man_348x220.jpgThe California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has determined that the California Smokers’ Helpline meets the Specialized Registry Reporting measure. The California Smokers’ Helpline, funded primarily by the CDPH, California Tobacco Control Program, provides free tobacco cessation counseling in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese. It also conducts population research using data collected from participants.

Beginning in 2013, the University of California Davis Health System integrated a proactive, two-way eReferral to the California Smokers’ Helpline into its EHR. The other four University of California health systems followed suit over the next two years. In 2015, the CDPH designated the California Smokers’ Helpline as a Public Health “Specialized” Registry and the University of California Irvine Health System used this designation to demonstrate Meaningful Use (MU) compliance.

The designation of the California Smokers’ Helpline as a Specialized Registry helps link public health and health care systems. It supports efforts to ensure that health systems routinely screen all patients for tobacco use or exposure, advise all tobacco users to quit, and offer evidence based cessation assistance to those who are willing to make a quit attempt. Data in this registry can be used both to help individual tobacco users quit, e.g. by sending them repeated reminders to quit with offers of assistance, and to understand larger trends in the tobacco using population and influence cessation on a population level.

Following successful implementation of eReferrals within the five University of California health systems, the California Smokers’ Helpline is currently expanding its eReferral service to a large outpatient clinic system and two additional hospitals, and hopes to expand the program further in the future. Instructions and criteria for implementation of eReferrals to the California Smokers’ Helpline will be available in September 2016.

Early adopters of Stage 3 will still be able to submit this registry to fulfill the Stage 3 Meaningful Use Public Health Registry Measure. For 2017, please submit under the 2014 Edition CEHRT criteria.

If you have any questions specific to Specialized Registries, please send your inquiries to


Free CE Course: Tobacco Cessation & Special Populations

Posted by Kristin Harms

Jun 6, 2016 2:51:37 PM


The California Smokers’ Helpline is pleased to offer this free online continuing education course, Tobacco Dependence Treatment in Special Populations: What's the Same and What's Different?

A growing body of research indicates that healthcare providers do not systematically intervene with smokers to provide tobacco independence treatment. This is especially true with teens and smokers with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. With pregnant smokers, there is a need to sustain the quit postpartum. There are special considerations to take into account when helping teens, pregnant smokers, and smokers with behavioral health conditions to quit.

Click below to get started. Once you complete the course, you will receive 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. You can also click below if you do not need CE credits but are interested in the course materials.

Get Started Now

Target Audience

The target audience for this course includes nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, pharmacists, psychologists, alcohol and drug counselors, physician assistants, and other health care professionals who care for pregnant smokers, teens and smokers with mental illness and/or substance use disorders.


At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Deliver effective and efficient clinical tobacco interventions to patients using systematic approaches to encourage tobacco cessation.
  • Describe population-based trends of tobacco use among smokers with co-occurring mental health and/or substance use disorders, teens and pregnant smokers.
  • Identify the special circumstances for smokers with co-occurring mental health and/or substance use disorders, teens and pregnant women

Presenter List

Gary Tedeschi, PhD

Gary-Tedeschi-200x227_10-15.jpgDr. Tedeschi is a licensed psychologist (#PSY 14241) at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine, Moores Cancer Center. He has worked there since 1994 as the Clinical Director of the California Smokers' Helpline and the Center for Tobacco Cessation. At the Helpline he is responsible for clinical supervision, counseling protocol development, counselor training, and continuing education. At the Center he provides technical assistance and training for medical and behavioral health professionals on tobacco cessation interventions. Dr. Tedeschi also has several years of previous clinical experience providing psychotherapy for individuals, couples and groups in settings including community mental health, psychiatric in-patient, and university counseling centers. He teaches graduate courses in counseling part time and maintains a small practice in consulting psychology. Dr. Tedeschi holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri, Kansas City; an M.A. in counseling psychology from Boston College; and a B.A. in psychology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.


UC San Diego Accreditation Statement
The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Medical Credit Designation Statement
The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA: The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

AAPA: AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME or a recognized state medical society. Physician assistants may receive a maximum of 1.25 hours of Category 1 credit for completing this program.

NURSES: For the purpose of recertification, the American Nurses Credentialing Center accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ issued by organizations accredited by the ACCME. For the purpose of relicensure, the California Board of Registered Nursing accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ (report up to 1.25 hours of credit and list "CME Category 1" as the provider number).


World No Tobacco Day 2016: Get ready for plain packaging

Posted by Kristin Harms

May 31, 2016 11:56:09 AM

Every year, on 31 May, WHO and partners mark World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

For World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2016, WHO and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are calling countries to get ready for plain (standardized) packaging of tobacco products.

Plain packaging is an important demand reduction measure that reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products, restricts use of tobacco packaging as a form of tobacco advertising and promotion, limits misleading packaging and labelling, and increases the effectiveness of health warnings.

Plain packaging of tobacco products refers to measures that restrict or prohibit the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information on packaging other than brand names and product names displayed in a standard colour and font style.

Guidelines to Articles 11 and 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) recommend that Parties consider adoption of plain packaging.

Plain packaging builds upon other measures as part of a comprehensive multisectoral approach to tobacco control. Policy makers, civil society and the public can take action to ensure that their governments consider adoption of plain packaging.

Facts about plain packaging

Interest in plain packaging is progressing across the globe:

  • In December 2012, Australia became the first country to fully implement plain packaging.
  • In 2015, Ireland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and France all passed laws to implement plain packaging from May 2016.
  • A number of countries are in advanced stages of considering adoption of plain packaging laws.

Goals of WNTD 2016 campaign

World No Tobacco Day 2016 aims to:

  • Highlight the role of plain packaging as part of a comprehensive, multisectoral approach to tobacco control.
  • Facilitate policy development by Member States and the globalization of plain packaging by providing informative, compelling and persuasive information.
  • Encourage Member States to strengthen packaging and labelling measures and restrictions on advertising, promotion and sponsorship as they work towards plain packaging in a step-wise approach.
  • Support Member States and civil society against tobacco industry interference in political processes leading to adoption of plain packaging laws.

For more information, including campaign videos, brochures, and posters, please visit


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

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