Collaborating with diabetes educators to promote smoking cessation for people with diabetes: the California experience

Diabetes Educ. Sep-Oct 2011;37(5):625-32. doi: 10.1177/0145721711416010.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Community-Institutional Relations
  • Diabetes Complications / prevention & control*
  • Education, Continuing / methods
  • Education, Continuing / organization & administration
  • Health Educators*
  • Hotlines*
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration
  • Program Development
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Voluntary Health Agencies