Tobacco Cessation Resources

As tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the United States, all healthcare providers, especially those with direct patient contact, can play a role in helping patients quit tobacco use. 

Below are important requirements and recommendations for providing comprehensive tobacco cessation services to all HPSM members. Use these guidelines to help patients attempting to quit tobacco use. 

Identifying tobacco users

Providers are required to identity and track all tobacco use (both initially and annually). Follow these screening requirements to identify and track HPSM tobacco users: 

  • The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend using these validated tools to screen all patients for smoking and tobacco use: 
    • The Staying Healthy Assessment (SHA) 
    • The Individual Health Assessment (IHA) 
    • The CRAFFT+N Questionnaire (for ages 12 to 21)
  • If you identify a tobacco user, make sure to document Smoking or Tobacco Status on the patient’s problem list on their electronic health record (EHR)
  • Use relevant ICD-10 codes related to nicotine dependence (such as F17.2XX, Z87.891)

Note: If you are eligible for HPSM’s Benchmark Pay-for-Performance (P4P) program, you can help us identify tobacco users and track your performance in quality measure “TBC” through monthly eReports. Clinics assigned to the Medi-Cal Pediatrics track are eligible to get P4P payments for screening pediatric patients 12 and older for tobacco use using the tools listed above and providing counseling to those who use tobacco.  

Treating patients who use tobacco

Treatment consists of providing medically necessary tobacco cessation services such as counseling, pharmacotherapy or both. 

Medication treatment options include nicotine replacements such as: 

  • Nicotine skin patches 
  • Nicotine lozenges
  • Nicotine gum 
  • Nicotine nasal spray 
  • Nicotine inhalers 

Medications to reduce cravings include: 

  • Bupropion SR (Zyban)  
  • Varenicline (Chantix) 

Note: Providers must provide a prescription for all tobacco cessation products, including over the counter (OTC) products, in order for HPSM or Medi-Cal Rx to cover the cost. HPSM Medi-Cal members can get tobacco cessation products through their Medi-Cal RX pharmacy benefit. Other HPSM plans may place coverage limitations on certain tobacco cessation products. Get more information by searching HPSM's online Formulary.

Behavioral counseling 

Providers are encouraged to:

Treatment for pregnant tobacco users 

Pregnant tobacco users should be advised of the significant perinatal risks of using tobacco during and after pregnancy. Providers must:

  • Offer one-on-one counseling for pregnant patients exposed to tobacco 
  • Help pregnant patients who actively use tobacco products obtain assistance with quitting throughout their pregnancies 
  • Discuss available cessation-aid services and resources regularly at prenatal and postpartum follow-up visits and document each discussion

For more information, consult the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF’s) recommendations

Addressing vaping  

The use of e-cigarettes is just as unsafe as other tobacco products, especially for kids, teens and young adults. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine that is highly addictive and can harm brain development. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using the following clinical guidelines to address vaping:

For patients: special-edition quit tobacco newsletter!

Quit smoking newsletter

Our eight-page quit tobacco newsletter is designed to help those who smoke, vape or chew break the habit. It explains the benefits of quitting, the six steps to building a personalized quit plan and the resources that can help people quit. To get a print copy mailed to you, call the Health Education Unit at 650-616-2165.

Other resources 

A program that is proven to help people quit with free tobacco cessation information, phone coaching and text reminders. Trained “quit coaches” are available in five languages. Patients can receive a personal quit plan or get a plan to help someone else quit.


  • English: 1-800-300-8086 or Text “Quit Smoking” or “Quit Vaping” to 66819
  • Español: 1-800-600-8191 o Envie “Dejar de Fumar” o “No Vapear” to 66819
  • 中文 (Chinese): 1-800-838-8917
  • 한국인 (Korean): 1-800-556-5564
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese): 1-800-778-8440 

Providers may also refer tobacco users to Kick it California by using web referrals. Web referral is secure and easy. Refer patients now

A six-session smoking cessation program based on the trans-theoretical model and behavior modifications. The program incorporates tobacco education, group support and tools to help smokers quit. For more information, visit or email Jason Cross, Health Educator, at

Available only to HPSM members assigned to Kaiser Permanente (KP) as a primary care provider (PCP): An opportunity to sign up for Quit Tobacco support groups, workshops and a class series at no cost. Call 650-299-2433 to learn more.

A national organization that provides information on quitting smoking at no cost. For more information, visit the National Quitline at or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

Includes resources to help your patients quit. Visit HPSM's Health Tips.

Kick it CA webinar

Offers training modules for health care providers with information on smoking, vaping and secondhand exposure; gambling and smoking; tobacco use and oral health; and more. Visit for more information.


Offers trainings, provider guidance, resources and tips from health care providers, Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists and health professionals for healthcare providers to help patients quit tobacco. See trainings and videos at