83% of Community Health Centers Want to Quit Smoking

According to an article published online by the American Journal of Public Health, four out of five low-income patients at community health centers (CHCs) want to quit smoking. These CHCs primarily serve low-income individuals. Thirty-one percent of patients at CHCs were current smokers, compared with 21% of US adults in general. Among currently smoking patients at CHCs, 83% desired to quit and 68% received tobacco counseling. UW-CTRI contributed to the work that went into this research paper.

Compared with the US population in general, CHC patients were younger, more frequently female, unmarried, less educated, unemployed, lower income, and uninsured. Uninsured patients at CHCs more frequently reported wanting to quit than did insured patients. The finding that two thirds of patients at CHCs who were smokers received tobacco counseling is encouraging; however, this means that about 1 in 3 current smokers seen at CHCs have not received tobacco counseling, indicating further opportunities for improvement in these safety-net primary care settings. Data came from the 2009 Health Center Patient Survey and the 2009 National Health Interview Survey. The analytic sample included 3,949 adult patients at CHCs and 27,731 total American adults.

UW-CTRI works with CHCs on a regular basis. One example is the Kenosha Community Health Center (KCHC), where they have recently implemented comprehensive tobacco treatment into their standard care. UW-CTRI Outreach staff and members of the WiNTiP team have worked with KCHC throughout the process. To view a video on the KCHC smoke-free project, see below: