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Tobacco Cessation Services

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that health care providers ask all individuals ages 18 years and older about tobacco use and that providers offer tobacco cessation interventions to those who use tobacco products. Providers should also offer tailored counseling to pregnant women who smoke. Finally, interventions, education or brief counseling should be offered to prevent initiation of tobacco use in school-aged children and adolescents.

What are the tobacco cessation interventions I need to implement?

Identify (initially and annually) all members of any age who use tobacco products or are exposed to tobacco smoke and document this information in the member's medical record. 

Conduct an initial and annual assessment of tobacco use for each adolescent and adult beneficiary.
  • Add tobacco use as a vital sign in the chart or electronic health record.
  • Use the following ICD-10 codes to record tobacco use in the medical record or view the full set of ICD-10 codes.  
  • F17.200 Nicotine dependence, unspecified, uncomplicated
  • F17.201 Nicotine dependence, unspecified, in remission
  • F17.210 Nicotine dependence, cigarettes, uncomplicated
  • F17.211 Nicotine dependence, cigarettes, in remission
  • F17.220 Nicotine dependence, chewing tobacco, uncomplicated
  • F17.221 Nicotine dependence, chewing tobacco, in remission
  • F17.290 Nicotine dependence, other tobacco product, uncomplicated
  • F17.291 Nicotine dependence, other tobacco product, in remission
  • Z87.891 Personal history of nicotine dependence
  • Place an identifying stamp or sticker on the charts of patients who use tobacco.


Providers are strongly encouraged to participate in one or more of the following provider trainings:  


Review the following provider training information

USPHS "Clinical Practice Guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008".

Special requirements for providing services for pregnant tobacco users - - "Smoking Cessation During Pregnancy: Committee Opinion".

Counseling using the "5A's" model" or other validated model for treating tobacco use and dependence.


Provide education or counseling to prevent initiation of tobacco use in school-aged children and adolescents.

Provide anticipatory guidance and risk-reduction counseling regarding tobaccouse to children and adolescents.  Order tobacco prevention and cessation health education materials using L.A. Care’s online health education materials order form.

Offer FDA approved tobacco cessation medications to non-pregnant adults of any age.

The medications include: Bupropion SR (without prior authorization), Varenicline, nicotine gum, nicotine inhaler, nicotine lozenge, nicotine nasal spray, and nicotine patch.

A 90-day treatment regimen of medications without other restrictions.

Offer medication for at least two separate quit attempts per year with no mandatory break required.

Medication without counseling may be offered if the member isn't interested in counseling. Prescribe tobacco cessation medications using L.A. Care’s formulary guide.  At least one FDA-approved tobacco cessation medication is available without prior authorization.

Refer tobacco users of any age to available individual, group, and telephone tobacco cessation counseling. 

Use the “5A’s” (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange) or the “5 R’s” (Relevance, Risks, Rewards, Roadblocks, Repetition) to provide individual counseling to patients during office visits.  A minimum of four counseling sessions of at least ten minutes must be offered.   You may also:

  • Refer members to the CA Smokers Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS or another equivalent quit line. Services available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
  • Refer to community group programs:
    Los Angeles County programs
    San Diego County programs
Ask all pregnant women if they use tobacco or are exposed to tobacco smoke.

If a smoker, offer at least one face-to-face counseling session per quit attempt and refer to a tobacco cessation quit line. Counseling services will be covered for 60 days after delivery. Smoking cessation medications are not recommended during pregnancy.

Provide education including brief counseling to children and adolescents to prevent initiation of tobacco in school-aged children and adolescents.

What resources are available to my patients?
For additional resources, patients should call Member Services and ask for the Health Education Department.