QuitWorks: a solution for providers to help patients quit smoking.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Welcome to QuitWorks

QuitWorks is a free, evidence-based stop-smoking service developed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in collaboration with all major health plans in Massachusetts.

"QuitWorks fills a huge gap in the continuity of care we can offer smokers. Office practices, hospitals and health centers need to provide counseling to smokers after they leave the health care setting. QuitWorks does this with an innovative system that reaches out to contact the patient, offers evidence-based services, and keeps the provider in the loop with patient progress reports."
- Nancy Rigotti, MD, Director, Tobacco Research and Treatment Center Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts

QuitWorks is a fast and easy way to link patients who want to quit smoking with proven tobacco cessation services
QuitWorks is grounded in the evidence
QuitWorks meets the needs of providers
QuitWorks serves thousands of Massachusetts providers, health centers, and hospitals
QuitWorks has strong partnerships


QuitWorks is a fast and easy way to link patients who want to quit smoking with proven tobacco cessation services
Here’s how it works:

  • Using a simple form, providers refer patients  to the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline.   The form is faxed or electronically transmitted to the Helpline.
  • Helpline counselors make up to five attempts to contact patients and offer quit smoking services. Counselors also screen patients for eligibility for 2 weeks of free nicotine patches.
  • Six months later, the Helpline evaluation team attempts to contact patients who completed an initial screener call.  During this call, they assess smoking status and success with quitting.
  • Providers receive faxed reports from the Helpline after the initial and 6-month follow-up contacts with referred patients.
    How it Works: QuitWorks at a Glance provides more details.


QuitWorks is grounded in the evidence
Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update , a US Public Health Service clinical practice guideline, strongly recommends that providers and health care delivery systems address tobacco use during every encounter in the health care system.  It recommends 5 proven strategies for addressing tobacco use:

  • Identify tobacco users.  QuitWorks helps providers, health centers, and hospitals institute systems to ensure that the tobacco use status of every patient is queried and documented at every clinical encounter.
  • Conduct brief interventions (the 5As).  QuitWorks can support providers in providing the 5As with patients:
    • ASK about tobacco use at each visit
    • ADVISE all tobacco users to stop
    • ASSESS desire and willingness to quit
    • ASSIST patients in quitting (directly and by referring to more intensive services)
    • ARRANGE follow-up to support and reinforce patient efforts
  • Provide behavioral counseling and pharmacotherapy.
  • Provide intensive counseling.
    • QuitWorks provides proactive telephone counseling of more than 30 minutes for tobacco users
  • Give providers feedback.
    • QuitWorks provides faxed reports to providers so they know which patients have received services and the results of the telephone counseling.

QuitWorks meets the needs of providers

  • QuitWorks fills a resource gap. QuitWorks meets the needs of health care providers who want to help tobacco users but lack a resource to refer patients. QuitWorks can respond to demands for tobacco cessation services and enhance reporting and technical assistance.
  • QuitWorks is flexible and responsive. QuitWorks has standard and customized referral forms and reporting formats to suit the needs of health care systems of all sizes and types.  QuitWorks also provides presentations, training, and technical assistance to help providers make the most of this tobacco cessation resource.
  • QuitWorks can be used with electronic health records. QuitWorks has several new referral options and now offers customized fully electronic, bidirectional referral forms and reports to institutions with well-developed electronic medical record systems.
  • QuitWorks contributes to performance improvement and accountability efforts. QuitWorks standard and customized paper and electronic reports help providers, hospitals, and health centers respond to evolving needs of health plan and health care organizations for performance improvement and accountability.
  • QuitWorks is compatible with the changing health care landscape. Health care reform, the federal Health Information Technology Project, meaningful use criteria, alternative payment systems, new Joint Commission tobacco measures and new care delivery models - all these initiatives emphasize the critical role of prevention, including tobacco interventions, to improve health outcomes and contain costs.

QuitWorks serves thousands of providers, health centers, and hospitals
Since its launch in May, 2002, more than 1,700 office practices in Massachusetts have received a QuitWorks starter kit. Today, more than 1,100 general practitioners and specialists have referred their patients to QuitWorks.

Since 2002, QuitWorks also has partnered with many public health programs, hospitals, community health centers, provider networks, and large provider practices to develop, implement, and deliver customized QuitWorks services.  Customized QuitWorks programs are in place in 23 hospitals, 11 community health centers, 60 public health program sites, and more than 100 other clinics across the state.  QuitWorks can help these large provider organizations integrate tobacco interventions into their health care systems.

QuitWorks has strong partnerships
QuitWorks is a partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and major Medicaid and commercial health plans: MassHealth Primary Care Clinician Plan, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, Neighborhood Health Plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Tufts Health Plan.  Clinicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Tobacco Treatment and Research Center serve as the QuitWorks medical consultants. The University of Massachusetts Medical School, Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training provides clinical training and technical assistance.

The QuitWorks program also collaborates with many professional and medical societies for promotion and special projects.  These collaborators include the Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, American Academy of Pediatrics (Massachusetts chapter), Massachusetts Dental Society, Massachusetts  Dental Hygiene Association, Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Masschusetts Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

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2.4.1: Counseling Services 2.4.2: Free Nicotine Patches ©2006 - 2011 Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program. All rights reserved.