The California Smokers’ Helpline is actively engaged in special projects that are expanding our reach, making it easier for smokers to quit, and producing important research findings. Here are just a few of these projects:
With funding from First 5 California, the California Smokers' Helpline provides free nicotine patches to qualified callers who are pregnant or have children age 5 or under. Helpline staff screen callers who request nicotine patches for contraindications, including pregnancy. For callers with contraindications, physician approval is required. To order free materials promoting this service, please click here.
The Helpline has served Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese speaking callers since 1992, and research has shown that these services are well-utilized and effective. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded an expansion of the Helpline’s Asian lines. Since then the Asian Smokers’ Quitline (ASQ) has been available nationwide. Asian language callers receive one-on-one guidance, self-help materials, and free nicotine patches sent directly to their home. ASQ is promoted throughout the U.S., and local public health programs are encouraged to help get the word out to their Asian community members. Read more about ASQ here.
CEASE California is an innovative program that trains pediatric providers to help the parents of their patients quit smoking. In so doing, they improve children’s health by reducing their exposure to secondhand smoke. CEASE stands for Clinical Effort Against Secondhand Smoke Exposure and was developed by Dr. Jonathan Winickoff at Massachusetts General Hospital. With support from First 5 California and the American Academy of Pediatrics, CEASE California is actively recruiting pediatric practices and training them on how to implement this program in their practices. Providers may directly refer the smoking parents of their pediatric patients to the Helpline. Parents of kids aged 0-5 can receive free nicotine patches sent directly to their home. Read about CEASE California here.
Besides co-funding the Helpline, First 5 California also invests in high quality preschool programs that enhance the quality of care and education that children receive. All child care providers and preschool teachers participating in its Child Signature Program are required to take an online training called "Kids and Smoke Don’t Mix”. Developed by the Helpline with First 5 California funding, the training is designed to give them the tools they need to keep children safe from secondhand smoke exposure, including how to address parental smoking and how to refer to the Helpline. The training is free to all, and is accessible in English and Spanish.
Need help to improve tobacco cessation in your area? The Center for Tobacco Cessation (CTC) is the training and technical assistance arm of the California Smokers’ Helpline. CTC helps organizations throughout California to increase their capacity in tobacco cessation.
The Center can help answer questions such as how to structure a comprehensive, evidence based tobacco cessation benefit in insurance plans, or how to support cessation in the behavioral health population. CTC offers free in-depth trainings for cessation facilitators and free webinars on topics ranging from the basics of tobacco cessation, to pharmacotherapy, to treatment considerations for special populations, and more. The CTC is not funded, however, to provide onsite group cessation programs. Read more about this project here.
UC Quits is a project designed to improve outcomes for smoking patients at the five University of California Medical Centers, while reducing health care costs. Funded by the UC Center for Health Quality and Innovation, this project uses electronic medical records to address tobacco use and exposure at every clinical encounter. It allows providers to electronically refer their smoking patients to the Helpline and receive automated feedback reports. The project is transforming how smoking patients are treated across the UC system. Read more about this project here.