Tobacco Users

    Medi-Cal Members

    Free Telephone Support

    The California Smokers’ Helpline can help you quit smoking or other tobacco use. We have trained, caring professionals who will work with you to create a plan and stick to it.

    Call 1-800-NO-BUTTS or click here to sign up online.

    Free Patches Through the Helpline

    Medi-Cal members can now obtain free nicotine patches directly from the Helpline. Research has shown that smokers who use counseling AND a quitting aid are more likely to quit for good. If you’re eligible, the Helpline will send you a free 4-week supply of patches. Click here to download a flyer with more information.

    Bonus $20 Gift Card Offer 

    While supplies last, you may receive a free $20 gift card bonus for calling the Helpline. To be eligible, you must have a Medi-Cal ID card number, request the gift card when you call, and complete a counseling session to help you quit. Click here to download a flyer with more information.

    MIQS Incentives to End 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 after July 31, 2015.

    Medi-Cal smokers may continue to receive nicotine patches paid for by their Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan, when obtained through a pharmacy, as described below. 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. For more information, visit the Helpline’s Special Projects page.

    Getting Quitting Aids From Your Pharmacy

    Medi-Cal members can also get quitting aids from their pharmacy. First, ask your doctor if a quitting aid is right for you and get a prescription. Three quitting aids are on the Medi-Cal Contract Drug List:

    • NicoDerm CQ® patches release a steady stream of nicotine into your body through your skin. They make quitting easier by weaning you off nicotine slowly. Prescriptions are available for 14 weeks. .
    • Zyban® is a form of the anti-depressant Wellbutrin®. It is a pill that does not contain nicotine. It helps with changes in brain chemistry that may occur when you quit smoking. Start taking it 1-2 weeks before you quit. Prescriptions are available for 12 weeks.
    • Chantix® is another quitting aid that does not contain nicotine. It is a pill that reduces cravings for nicotine by blocking the pleasure of smoking. Start taking it a week before you quit. Prescriptions are available for 12 weeks.

    If your prescription is for one of the products above, a pharmacist can fill it right away. You don’t need Medi-Cal pre-approval. You can receive two courses of treatment per year, with no waiting in between.

    Keep Trying! 

    However you decide to quit, don’t give up. It may take several tries to quit for good. Every time you try, you get closer to your goal of quitting for good. You can do it!

    The MIQS Project 

    The Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking (MIQS) project provides Medi-Cal members with incentives to help them quit smoking or other tobacco use. The project is made possible by a grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. For more information, visit the MIQS webpage.

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