A recent study among New York State-licensed health professionals found that half believed the COVID-19 pandemic caused “no noticeable change” in their patients using tobacco or vape products.
The study, conducted by the New York State Smokers’ Quitline (Quitline), also found that approximately one-third of healthcare professionals (34.2%) felt that the COVID-19 pandemic made these patients more reluctant to make a stop-motion attempt. due to stress or other concerns.
As part of its ongoing efforts to determine not only the types of tobacco cessation resources to be created but also effective dissemination, Quitline created the New York State Healthcare Professional Communication Preferences Survey and administered it throughout August and September 2021. Total completed 1,844 respondents to the survey and covered a number of areas, including physicians / medicine, nursing, respiratory therapy, social work, dental care, mental health, and pharmacy.
While very few healthcare professionals (12.7%) reported that the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for patients to make an effort to quit, more than two-thirds of these specific survey respondents (67.9%) said that they focused more on tobacco addiction treatment because of the “increased importance of lung health.”
In addition to questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, Quitline included specific issues in 2021 to help priority populations. More than 42% reported “those experiencing mental illness” as the most challenging to treat for tobacco addiction.
Quitline conducted similar surveys in 2018 and 2019 and included previous questions in 2021 to monitor trends. The upcoming webinar will review these trends, such as preferred communication methods and top topics of interest to tobacco cessation.
The survey gives Quitlines Marketing & Outreach Team insight to transform their efforts in meaningful ways. As a result of the 2019 survey, for example, Quitline increased its efforts to offer webinars, offer tobacco treatment training to primary clinics, and engage dentists with content specific to their field. Anecdotal responses to the 2021 study show two topics currently of particular concern to healthcare professionals: vaping among young adults and navigating increased stress among patients.
The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is a service of the New York State Department of Health and based at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is one of the first and busiest state quitlines in the country and has answered nearly 3 million calls since it began operating in 2000.
All New York State residents can call (866) 697-8487 for free coaching and resources seven days a week from 7 p.m. www.nysmokefree.com for more information.