Smokers Helpline Projects for Cessation

    Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking (MIQS) Project

    Free Nicotine Patches and Gift Card Incentive for Medi-Cal Members 

    Quitting smoking just got easier for Medi-Cal members!  For a limited time, through 2015 or while supplies last, the Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking (MIQS) Project is offering incentives to eligible Medi-Cal members age 18 and older who want to quit smoking or using other tobacco products. These incentives include free nicotine patches and a $20 gift card bonus for members who call the California Smokers' Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS and enroll in Helpline counseling.

    The nicotine patches and the gift card are mailed directly to the member's home.To be eligible, members must have a valid Medi-Cal Beneficiary Identification Card number and complete the first counseling session.

    MIQS Project Incentives to End by July 31, 2015

    Due to the success of the MIQS project and the resulting high volume of calls to the Helpline, MIQS incentives are projected to end by July 31, 2015. After that date, Medi-Cal members may continue to call the Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS for free telephone tobacco cessation counseling services, although the $20 gift card and free nicotine patches mailed to their homes will no longer be available.

    Medi-Cal smokers may continue to receive nicotine patches paid for by their Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan, when obtained through a pharmacy. Some callers may qualify for other incentives offered through special projects like First Five (for parents of children 0 - 5) and the Asian Smokers' Quitline. 

    If you have any questions, please contact MIQS Outreach Specialists and

    Help Medi-Cal Members Quit Smoking

    1. ASK all patients if they smoke.
    2. ADVISE them to quit smoking to improve their health.
    3. REFER members electronically via the Helpline's web-based referral service for free, telephone-based cessation counseling in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese.
    4. MOTIVATE Medi-Cal members to enroll in Helpline counseling by telling them about the free nicotine patches mailed to their homes and $20 gift card bonus. 

    How to Talk to Your Patients About Quitting Smoking: A New Video for Health Professionals
    It takes less than three minutes to save a life! In this brief five-minute video, Steve Schroeder, M.D., UCSF Professor of Medicine, and Director of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, discusses the importance of asking, advise and referring smokers to the California Smokers’ Helpline. Dean Schillinger, M.D., Chief, Division of Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital, provides a short demonstration of how to talk to patients about quitting smoking.

    MIQS Patient Materials


    To download MIQS program flyers in multiple languages, please visit our online store.

    To order free MIQS postcards in multiple languages, contact Cynthia Vela at 916-703-5654 or, or Sue Kratochvil at 916-703-5652 or

    Outreach Materials

    MIQS Fact Sheet


    MIQS Provider Toolkit

    MIQS Provider Newsletter Samples and Graphics

    MIQS Translated Newsletter Article, Web Badge, and Postcards

    MIQS Facebook and Twitter Messages


    The MIQS Provider Quitkit: The California Smokers’ Helpline and the Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking Project
    This webinar is presented by Elisa Tong, M.D., M.A., Associate Professor, Dept. of Internal Medicine, UC Davis Health System and Principal Investigator for the Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking (MIQS) Project. During this 60-minute webinar, Dr. Tong addresses the importance of addressing tobacco use, especially among Medi-Cal members in rural counties. She also discusses how to connect patients who smoke with the Helpline electronically utilizing the web-based Referral Service, how to obtain MIQS materials and promote quit smoking messages to patients, and how to utilize resources to help health organizations evaluate local referral performance.

    You can also view the webinar's Powerpoint presentation here

    MIQS Newsletters














    March 2015 Newsletter

    May 2015 Newsletter

    The Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking (MIQS) Project is funded by the California Department of Health Care Services through a grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), as part of the Medicaid Incentives for the Prevention of Chronic Disease (MIPCD) Program, under the Affordable Care Act. Some conditions apply, while supplies last. 

    Refer patients to California's Smokers Helpline
    For more information about the MIQS Project, please contact:

    Cynthia Vela at 916-703-5654 or

    Sue Kratochvil at 916-703-5652 or

    Sign up for the MIQS Newsletter here