FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Aria Community Health Center (ACHC) facilities across the Central Valley are implementing a referral system to better connect patients with the resources they need to quit tobacco.

With help from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, ACHC health centers are using an electronic referral system to Kick it California to help their patients cut out their dependence on tobacco.

This approach, where the patient does not have to initiate the call, leads to a significantly higher rate of participation than simply advising the patient to quit. We are talking about 40% versus 2%

Emily Aughinbaugh, Kick It California project director

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) says that ACHC facilities also implemented a smoke-free and tobacco-free policy that protects patients, staff, and visitors from secondhand smoke and provides a safe environment to support efforts to stop using tobacco.

This new policy prohibits the use of tobacco in any form including e-cigarettes on all property owned, leased, or under the control of ACHC.

Officials say this policy with the electronic referral and education materials will create a supportive environment for those trying to quit while protecting everyone’s right to breathe clean, smoke-free air.

For more free resources on quitting smoking visit KickItCA.org. To learn more about VIVA’s efforts to help prevent cancer through community education, engagement, and empowerment, visit valleyaction.org.

To find ACHC locations in the Central Valley, click here.