Tobacco Cessation and Referral to the National Quitline

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Background: Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. The rates of smoking remain elevated in rural, low income populations in comparison with the rest of the United States. Thus, prompting the process improvement project of implementing the Ask–Advise–Connect (AAC) method to the national quitline in a nurse practitioner–managed clinic for an automotive manufacturing plant in rural Tennessee. Methods: Ask–Advise–Connect method was added to the current smoking cessation program. The employees who utilized the clinic were assessed for smoking status at each visit and subsequently counseled on cessation. Individuals interested in cessation were connected to the national quitline with the AAC method. Pharmaceutical options and nicotine replacement therapy was also offered at no cost to the employee. Findings: In the 4-month period, the clinic provided 102 tobacco cessation counseling visits to workers who smoke. Twenty-four employees enrolled in the cessation program. The participants reported a cessation rate of 12.5% and 21% had a significant decrease in the number of cigarettes smoked. Of the participants, 12.5% (n = 3) engaged in behavioral counseling with the quitline. Conclusion/application to practice: The addition of the AAC method as part of the smoking cessation program had limited success. As smoking cessation is difficult to achieve, any success greater than 7% can be considered an achievement. The 12.5% cessation rate of the participants was above the national average. Thus, demonstrating the benefit of having a workplace cessation program and incorporating the AAC method to the current smoking cessation program.