Dana McCants Derisier
About 50-percent of smokers will die from tobacco-related diseases. Healthcare providers can help patients quit smoking through proven and effective treatments for nicotine addiction, including medications and smoking cessation counseling. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends applying the “5 As” to screen for smoking and tobacco use and to refer patients to evidence-based addiction treatment. This powerful and effective tool can take about seven minutes.
All commercial health plans and Medicaid in Rhode Island offer benefits for tobacco addiction treatment and services, such as outpatient counseling, nicotine replacement therapy products, or prescribed medications.
Quitworks-RI provides free tobacco cessation tools and resources to healthcare providers while connecting their patients to free tobacco addiction treatment services. Smokers and other tobacco users may receive free telephonic counseling from certified tobacco treatment specialist (TTS)s, a welcome kit by mail, online tools, and text-based resources. The referring healthcare provider will receive follow-up reports that can be entered into the patient's electronic medical record to track quit success or indicate if other follow-ups may be needed. Medically eligible patients (ages 18+) may also receive a free supply of nicotine replacement therapy mailed to their homes (up to six weeks supply, while supplies last).