CDC offers tips for mental health care professionals to help their patients quit smoking

CDC imageAs part of its “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a set of resources for mental health professionals to help their patients fight tobacco use and quit smoking.

Studies show that people with mental health conditions are more likely to smoke than those who don’t, according to the CDC website. They suggest that primary care providers (PCPs) and mental health care providers should routinely screen patients for tobacco use and offer evidence-based smoking cessation treatments.

To help them with these conversations, the CDC has provided a set of documents and resources to help explain how mental health care professionals can get involved and support their patients, offers suggestions about how to conduct a brief tobacco intervention, shares important reasons to quit smoking, and more. These are available online by clicking here.


More than 162,000 Kentuckians on Medicaid use tobacco, but less than 1 in 5 use smoking-cessation benefits to try to quit

No Smoking SignTen percent of Kentuckians on Medicaid are dependent on tobacco, but fewer than 2 percent are using Medicaid to quit, according to a report from Kentucky Health News.

In 2015, only 17.2 percent of Medicaid recipients used smoking-cessation medications, even though such meds are available to them at little to no cost. Only 1.4 percent of received smoking-cessation counseling, according to data from the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Almost $600 million of Kentucky’s annual Medicaid expenses are for smoking-related illnesses, Ashli Watts of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce said on Kentucky Educational Television in October.

The chamber wants the General Assembly to pass a statewide ban on smoking in workplaces as a way to save money for taxpayers and employers. “We can simply no longer afford to ignore this issue,” Watts said. “Smoking is not only killing us, it is bankrupting us.”

Passport Health Plan members seeking information about how to quit smoking can call Passport at 1-800-578-0603 or the Kentucky Quit Now Support Line at 1-800-784-8669.


CDC’s Anti-Smoking Campaign Takes Aim at E-Cigarettes

The latest installment of anti-smoking advertisements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is focusing on the dangers of e-cigarettes. The ads will be similar to the “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign that began a few years ago, and will challenge the use of e-cigarettes as asmoking-cessation tool. According to the CDC, “If you only cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke by adding another tobacco product, like e-cigarettes, you still face serious health risks. Smokers must quit smoking completely to fully protect their health – even a few cigarettes a day are dangerous.” To read more about the CDC campaign, click here. To see some of the highlighted “Tips From Former Smokers,” click here.