Smokers Helpline Projects for Cessation

    Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking (MIQS) Project

    California was one of ten states chosen to participate in the Medicaid Incentives for the Prevention of Chronic Disease Program, created by the Affordable Care Act. These states are studying the use of incentives to encourage Medicaid members to make healthy choices.

    California’s project is called MIQS, or Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking. Eligible Medi-Cal members who smoke could receive a $20 gift card to call the Helpline and engage in counseling. They could also receive free nicotine patches sent to their home, in addition to free telephone counseling. Providers throughout the state were actively referring their Medi-Cal patients, and over 47,000 enrolled through the end of July 2015.

    Enrollment is now complete. The MIQS Project was successful in meeting its goals to provide incentives and counseling services that help Medi-Cal members quit smoking.

    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 Flyer

    Although enrollment for the MIQS Project is now complete, a flyer is available to health care providers to promote free Helpline services to their Medi-Cal members. To download the flyer in multiple languages, please visit our online store.

    MIQS Newsletters














    March 2015 Newsletter

    May 2015 Newsletter

    June 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