DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday partnered with Passport Health Plan, a local Medicaid health plan in Louisville, Ky., on a new smoking-cessation program that launched in early January. The program is free to Walgreens customers and Passport members and aims to improve the community’s health by giving smokers the tools, resources and ongoing clinical pharmacist counseling to help them achieve their cessation goals.
Participating Walgreens pharmacists and technicians have undergone specialized training provided by the Kentucky Cancer Program at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The program provides further education on tobacco treatment and helped in the development of Walgreens formal, 12-month process for helping those interested in tobacco cessation.
“The harmful effects of tobacco use are well-documented, and by working closely with our community pharmacists who people know and trust, we hope to encourage more smokers under Passport Health Plan to improve their health through this free program to help them quit,” stated Greg Baker, Walgreens pharmacy supervisor for Louisville. “The cessation process can be very challenging. We believe the ongoing dialogue with pharmacists, who are among the most accessible health care professionals in the community, can be an effective tool in working with and supporting people to overcome those challenges.”
“Smoking and tobacco use are complex problems that require different approaches to adequately address,” added Stephen Houghland, chief medical officer for Passport Health Plan. “We believe that addressing this critical driver of negative health outcomes in as many areas where our members are, and with people they trust, is a great opportunity to truly make a difference in their health and quality of life.”
Passport Health Plan members identified as tobacco users can enroll by visiting one of the eight participating Walgreens pharmacy locations. Walgreens will be sharing program results with Passport Health Plan on a monthly basis and also will be measuring the program’s effectiveness for individuals enrolled over a six- and 12-month period.