California Health Collaborative, Smoke Free High Country say tobacco flavor ban helps healthcare patients quit smoking

Effective immediately, to reduce the negative effects of tobacco, selling most flavored tobacco products is illegal in the state of California. This includes flavored and menthol chewing tobacco, vapes, cigarettes and more. This will encourage patients with tobacco use disorder to either quit or switch products. Additionally, without flavors tobacco tastes terrible. Therefore, now is the time to talk to patients about quitting.

Quitting is also an effective method to reduce stress. The physical health impacts of tobacco are well known. However, the mental health impacts are misunderstood. People think that tobacco helps them relieve stress. However, tobacco only temporarily relieves stress. Nicotine addiction creates a vicious cycle of withdrawal. Therefore, people are significantly less stressed after quitting.

Every healthcare worker can help patients quit. The first step is screening for tobacco use. Patients must be advised to quit at every visit. The next step is referrals to additional support. A complete referral includes two components. The first component is a prescriber for quit medication. The second component is the quitline, Kick It California. The best way to refer a patient to the quitline is to submit their contact information at kickitca.org/patient-referral. Then Kick It California will call the patient five times attempting to enroll them in counseling. Talk to your healthcare provider about quitting.

Smoke Free High Country is a part of the California Health Collaborative. We are committed to helping healthcare facilities in Lassen and Siskiyou counties support their patients with tobacco use disorder.

For more information follow us on Facebook and Instagram @smokefreehighcountry or contact our project director Amanda Berryhill at aberryhill@healthcollaborative.org.