restricted access Rapid Implementation of a Smokers’ Quitline Fax Referral Service in an Urban Area

Purpose. To increase use of fax referral services to a state smokers’ quitline.

Design. Program evaluation.

Setting. A populous urban county.

Subjects. Smokers older than 17 years.

Intervention. In January 2005, a state-funded smoking cessation center began to offer training and technical assistance to clinical sites to expand tobacco control services.

Measures. Proportion of each county’s smokers referred to quitline.

Results. Prior to program onset, only one Bronx provider had made a fax referral to the quitline. In 2006, 943 fax referrals were made, representing 0.5% of all smokers in the county. This was a higher proportion than any other state county with an adult population exceeding 250,000. Bronx smokers are 2.47 times more likely to be fax-referred to the quitline than other smokers in New York.

Conclusion. A program consisting of training and technical assistance, and emphasizing systems change, can markedly increase providers’ use of quitline referral services.