Purpose: Smoking exacerbates the harmful effects of diabetes by increasing risk of diabetes-related complications such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, nephropathy, and neuropathy. To address the smoking cessation needs of people with diabetes, a partnership was formed among diabetes educators, the California Department of Public Health's Diabetes and Tobacco Control Programs, and the California Smokers' Helpline.
Methods: A task force composed of 8 diabetes educators voluntarily designed and implemented a statewide educational campaign titled, "Do You cAARd?" The program aimed to promote referrals to the state's tobacco quitline by diabetes educators. Intervention activities included development of a "toolkit" for diabetes educators, presentations at American Association of Diabetes Educators chapter meetings, distribution of pocket-sized smoking cessation materials, and a print media campaign.
Results: The campaign reached 170 diabetes educators directly via educational presentations. A post-campaign online survey of 46 diabetes educators showed 80% had referred clients to the Helpline for smoking cessation support, 76% knew the Helpline's phone number, and 70% had distributed Helpline materials. More than 700 toolkits were downloaded, potentially reaching as many as 75% of California's 900 diabetes educators. The percentage of Helpline calls from people with diabetes and the proportion of callers referred by health care providers also increased over time.
Conclusions: This program partnership serves as a sustainable, efficient, replicable outreach model for smoking cessation.