Impact of a Rheumatology Clinic Protocol on Tobacco Cessation Quit Line Referrals

Although smoking is a risk factor for patients with rheumatic conditions and contributes to greater symptom severity and cardiovascular disease risk, standard smoking cessation intervention is rare in rheumatology clinics. Primary care uses brief staff protocols to connect patients to free, state-run tobacco cessation quit line resources, but this approach had not been previously tested in rheumatology.

In this article, authors including HIP Investigators Dr. Christie Bartels and Dr. Edmond Ramly implemented a rheumatology staff-driven protocol, Quit Connect, to increase the rate of electronic referrals (e-referrals) to free, state-run tobacco quit lines (TQL). The group found that implementing Quit Connect in rheumatology clinics was feasible and improved referrals to a state-run TQL.

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