December 2015

Smoking Cessation: How Physicians Can Help Patients Quit for Good

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death. When patients are facing a big change they often look to their primary care provider for support. Recent data show that with optimal treatment support, the one-year abstinence rate is more than five times higher than after unaided attempts. Thankfully, there is now more support in New York than ever before! New York City supports using the “Five A’s for Quitting”:

Ask: current/recent smokers at every visit whether they use tobacco
Advise: using clear, personal messages about the impact of tobacco use on their health
Assess: your patient’s willingness to quit smoking in the next 30 days
Assist: by providing the appropriate aide(s) for the patient to quit
Arrange: follow-up, either in person or by phone, preferably shortly after the quit date
Medical research has shown increased rates of cessation with a combination of two approaches: 1) nicotine replacement and 2) craving reduction.

Amida Care supports many forms of nicotine replacement as well as an array of prescription medications to help our members reduce cravings. For covered formulary options please download this PDF. Non-pharmacologic interventions, like individual counseling, are also supported by Amida Care.

Your time is valuable as well. Amida Care has created a billing guide for your reference which includes ICD-10 codes.

New York City and State both support a Quitline. The section for health providers can be accessed here. The Quitline has many options for patients, most of which are free. For example, nearly everyone who smokes daily is offered a free starter kit that contains a supply of nicotine patches. Please call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline to find out more: 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or visit

Amida Care has partnered with New York State to connect our members with this support. Your patients who are members of Amida Care are invited to call Manny Sese at 646-757-7609. He will guide them through the enrollment/intake process. He also has information about what your patients can expect from the Quitline.

Thank you for supporting your patients as they work towards becoming former smokers.

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