Every 10 seconds someone dies of a tobacco-related disease. Tobacco use causes more deaths each year than alcohol, heroin, cocaine, HIV, homicides, suicides, fires and accidents combined.
Massena Memorial Hospital, MMH, has partnered with the Tobacco Cessation Center of Northern New York since 2003 in offering patients, employees and community members tobacco cessation information and nicotine replacement therapy. Additionally, Beth Gero, Ph.D., MA, Certified Tobacco Intervention Specialist has spent hundreds of hours in offering workshops and individual counseling on Tobacco Cessation and pharmacotherapy. Dr. Gero provides training on the US Public Health Clinical Guideline recommendations for clinician-patient intervention, called the 5-A Model to our local health care providers.
"Few opportunities hold more promise for increasing the rate of tobacco-use cessation than patient contact within a health care system. Thanks to Massena Memorial Hospital's efforts in implementing the Opt-to-Quit program through the NY State Smokers’ Quitline, a big step forward has been made to help their patients who use tobacco. The Opt-to-quit program supports patients with their quit attempt after discharge". Beth Gero
MMH is the first in New York State to launch the “Hospital Opt to Quit Program” with the support of the Tobacco Cessation Center of Northern New York. When a patient is admitted to Massena Memorial Hospital during their inpatient assessment from the Nursing Team, a patient is asked if they use tobacco and would like information about quitting tobacco. If a patient answers yes, a member of the hospital’s Respiratory Therapy team will visit the patient during their hospital stay and offer brief counseling on tobacco use and dependence and information about the NY State Smokers Quit Line Opt-to-quit program, NYSSQL. Then the Respiratory Therapist will ask the patient to sign a release form, authorizing MMH to electronically send the patients request to the Quitline.
“We are very much in support of this program. Last year, our Respiratory Therapy Department had discussions with almost 700 inpatients regarding the need to stop smoking. While most expressed an interest in getting more information, they had to make the phone call to the Quitline on their own. We believe the new program, where the Quitline calls them, will increase the likelihood that the patient will truly follow through on their commitment,” said Debbie Willer, R.T., Respiratory Therapy Director. “Every day, more that 1200 people in the United States will die due to smoking related illnesses. Despite the known dangers of smoking, nearly one in five adults continues to smoke. The health and financial consequences are overwhelming; cigarette smoking costs the country more than $193 billion per year in health care expenditures and lost productivity. If we can get increased participation in a FREE program, the savings will follow.”
“We are very pleased to be recognized as the first hospital in New York Sate to initiate this new program to assist our patients with a comprehensive program to give up smoking,” said Charles F. Fahd, II, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer. “This has been a team effort with Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, Information Technology and the Tobacco Cessation Center of Northern New York; many hours in getting this ready for the benefit of our patients.”
“The intent of the Opt-to Quit Program is to provide follow-up contact to help tobacco users quit and remain tobacco free and hence avoid readmissions; smoking can cause many diseases such as Pneumonia, heart disease and cancers,” said Gero. “Tobacco use is a known chronic condition with many quit attempts and relapse cycles. Therefore it is necessary to enter tobacco using patients into an ongoing service that will continually motivate quit attempts and offer evidence based practices for help to quit. Once the patient is discharged he/she will be receiving free services including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), coaching and other web-based services,” said Gero.
Cessation centers work with health-care organizations and providers to implement systems to screen patients for tobacco use and prompt providers to offer advice and assistance to quit. “Massena Memorial Hospital is partnering to with the Tobacco Cessation Center of Northern New York and NYSSQL to improve the health of our patients and community,” said Sue Beaulieu, RN, FACHE, Chief Nurse Executive.
The New York State Smokers' Quitline provides free nicotine patches for eligible NYS smokers, trained Quitline specialists offering coaching and encouragement for quit attempts, and information about local stop smoking programs. For more information please call the toll-free number: 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or visit http://www.nysmokefree.com/newweb/default.aspx