Medina Memorial Hospital tries to reduce Orleans County’s high smoking rate

Posted 18 November 2019 at 11:45 am

Press Release, Orleans Community Health (Medina Memorial Hospital)

MEDINA – A top-three ranking in the state is a good thing – unless it’s for the number of adults who smoke. According to recent data from the New York State Department of Health, Orleans County unfortunately ranks third in the state (28.6 percent) for prevalence of adult smoking. Orleans Community Health wants to change that.

In partnership with the New York State Smokers’ Quitline (Quitline) and just in time for the nationwide Great American Smokeout on Nov. 21, Medina Memorial Hospital now offers Opt-to-Quit™ for all tobacco-using patients.

After patients are screened for tobacco dependence, those identified as tobacco-users will be automatically enrolled in free Quitline services unless they choose to opt out. Because of this direct referral approach, Medina Memorial Hospital’s tobacco-using patients can expect to receive a call from one of the Quitline’s Quit Coaches within 24 to 72 hours for coaching support and nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine patches, gum and lozenges.

“More than 25,000 New York State residents die from smoking each year, so it’s critical that Orleans Community Health make tobacco cessation a central focus for our patients,” said Cindy Perry, director of community outreach for Orleans Community Health. “By tying in the Quitline’s Opt-to-Quit™ program at our Admissions Department, we can reach every patient who walks through our doors at Medina Memorial Hospital. This is a worthwhile collaborative approach to tobacco dependence treatment, which enhances the care we provide on-site.”

Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free Western New York (HSTFWNY) played a key role in creating the partnership between Medina Memorial Hospital and the Quitline. Just like the Quitline, HSTFWNY receives funding through the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Control and is based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo. HSTFWNY works with healthcare organizations throughout eight Western New York counties to implement systems- and evidence-based methods for tobacco dependence treatment.

“When patients are thinking about quitting smoking, contacting the Quitline is an extra step they might not think to take,” said Kimberly Bank, program coordinator for HSTFWNY. “Thanks to Medina Memorial Hospital’s implementation of Opt-to-Quit™, they’ve removed the burden for patients to have to call the Quitline themselves. One extra layer of support can make all the difference toward a successful quit-attempt.”

The Quitline’s Quit Coaches work with hundreds of smokers daily in developing customized quit-plans to overcome triggers and stay on track. The Quitline also encourages smokers to always talk with their healthcare professionals and access their health plan benefits for additional cessation support and stop-smoking medications.

In addition, as announced in October by the New York State Department of Health, the Quitline now offers expanded services available to help e-cigarette users quit vaping. Based on an assessment via phone at 1-866-NY-QUITS, an e-cigarette user 18 years of age or older may be eligible to receive complimentary patches, gum, lozenges or a combination of these products. Coaching support at the Quitline is available for New Yorkers of all ages, including adolescents.

About the New York State Smokers’ Quitline

The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is a service of the New York State Department of Health and based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo. It is one of the first and busiest state quitlines in the nation and has responded to nearly 3 million calls since it began operating in 2000. The Quitline encourages nicotine users to talk with their healthcare professionals and access available Medicaid or health insurance benefits for stop-smoking medications. All New York State residents can call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) for coaching and resources, free of charge, seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. Visit for more information.

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