The New York State Smokers’ Quitline, based at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and supported by the New York State Department of Health Tobacco Control Program, has been awarded one of six ACTTION State Grants from Partnership for Prevention for the implementation of innovative strategies to increase access to tobacco cessation treatments. Funds are to be used primarily for the development of state alliances/summit meetings and the creation of strategic plans.
With the grant, New York will hold three summits with a goal that, over time, all employers will provide cessation treatment coverage to their employees. Currently some health plans do not cover these treatments and, where they do, there is a great variance in coverage. And, as is often the case, many employees are confused about or unaware of the tobacco cessation benefits they have. The New York State Quitline will work closely with the NYS Department of Health, NY Office of Health Insurance Programs and the NY Health Plan Association.
With funding from the Pfizer Foundation, Partnership hopes to dramatically increase access to and use of proven tobacco cessation treatments through this grant program. The focus of the ACTTION state grants is system and policy change in tobacco cessation, rather than the delivery of programs or direct services. “While the one-time provision of services would help some people quit tobacco, in the long run this will not guarantee that change is institutionalized,” said Rob Gould, President & CEO of Partnership. “We hope the grants will help states take steps toward permanent change in coverage, access, and utilization.”
The New York State Smokers' Quitline is a free and confidential program that provides evidence-based stop smoking services to New York State residents who want to stop smoking or using other forms of tobacco. The Quitline has received over one million calls since its inception in 2000. Dr. K. Michael Cummings, Chair of Roswell Park’s Department of Health Behavior, is the principal investigator for the Quitline. For information, call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or visit www.nysmokefree.com.
Partnership for Prevention is a membership-based, nonprofit organization advancing policies and practices to prevent disease and improve the health of all Americans. Partnership seeks to increase investment in preventing disease and promoting health and to make prevention a national priority. For more information on Partnership, visit www.prevent.org. For more information on ACTTION, visit www.acttiontoquit.org.
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Colleen M. Kauza 716-845-5747