Building and Scaling-up California Quits: Supporting Health Systems Change for Tobacco Treatment

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5 Scopus citations


The California Tobacco Control Program is the longest standing, publicly funded tobacco control program in the U.S. California's adult smoking rate declined from 23.7% (1989) to 11% (2016) but California still has more than 3 million smokers dispersed over 58 counties, requiring a coordinated approach to further tobacco control. Early California Tobacco Control Program success is rooted in public health policy strategies and a statewide media campaign that shifted social norms. In 2009, concepts for a coordinated approach were introduced by the California Tobacco Control Program in the state's first tobacco quit plan. The state quit plan called for public health's tobacco control programs to engage healthcare systems and insurers to work more directly with the California Smoker's Helpline (Helpline). With California's Medicaid (Medi-Cal) program expansion and the implementation of electronic medical record systems, health care plans and providers received additional support for system changes. Simultaneous with these changes, coordinated tobacco control efforts began, including California's Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking project (2012–2015). In the Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking project, safety-net providers and Medi-Cal plans were outreached and engaged to promote incentives for Medi-Cal members to utilize Helpline services. In another effort, UC Quits (2013–2015), the five University of California health systems used electronic medical record tools to promote tobacco treatments and electronic referrals to the Helpline. Now, as tobacco prevention is increasingly prioritized for quality improvement, California Tobacco Control Program is funding CA Quits, a statewide tobacco-cessation learning collaborative and technical assistance resource to promote integration of tobacco treatment services and quality improvement activities into safety-net health systems. CA Quits, in coordination with the Helpline, will connect public health departments, Medi-Cal plans, and safety-net providers to accelerate health systems change for tobacco-cessation treatment throughout the state. Supplement information: This article is part of a supplement entitled Advancing Smoking Cessation in California's Medicaid Population, which is sponsored by the California Department of Public Health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S214-S221
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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