QuitLogix® Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Helping 75 people quit tobacco every day for 10 years

DECEMBER 17, 2012

DENVER — A National Jewish Health business venture celebrates its 10th anniversary in December as a multi-million dollar enterprise that has helped more than a quarter million people across the country quit tobacco. The National Jewish Health QuitLogix Program began in 2002 helping Colorado residents quit with a telephone-based tobacco cessation service. Today, QuitLogix employs more than 100 people to provide quitline services for 11 states and numerous health care plans utilizing a multi-media platform.
“Ten years ago the country was battling tobacco use and expanding the use of quitlines,” said David Tinkelman, MD, medical director for Health Initiatives at National Jewish Health. “It was a great opportunity for National Jewish Health to use our expertise to help people and generate revenue for the institution. We have provided a great return on investment for states that have contracted with us.”

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment contracted quitline services with National Jewish Health in December 2002 and became QuitLogix’s first client. Since then, QuitLogix has grown to become the second largest provider of telephone-based tobacco cessation services in the country.

Although starting out providing only telephonic cessation support, QuitLogix now offers a comprehensive telephonic and Web-based program available to individuals who are ready to quit or just thinking about it. The program offers proactive coaching sessions customized to each participant and a website that provides tailored motivational messages, step-by-step guidance for cutting down and quitting tobacco, as well as online support from other quitters and quitting specialists.

The QuitLogix model has proven extremely successful in helping people quit tobacco. In the last decade QuitLogix has assisted over 775,000 people with their quit attempts, and achieved an average quit rate of 36 percent across the full spectrum of demographic groups, geographic locations, education and socioeconomic levels. This number translates to helping 75 people quit tobacco every day for the last 10 years, and a total of 265,000 who have completely quit tobacco. 

With this many people having fully stopped smoking, we should see 53,000 fewer people developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 18,500 fewer cases of lung cancer and 69,000 fewer instances of heart disease in the years to come, according to published reports.

“What makes our program so successful is that our coaching is not scripted, as with many other programs,” said Tinkelman. “We recognize that most smokers are ambivalent about quitting, and we help each participant decide when and how they want to give up tobacco. It is a very personalized approach.”

States using Quitlogix services are seeing considerable savings in health care costs, as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that health care costs for smokers are $3,036 more per year on average than those of non-smokers. Various studies have shown that states receive a $2 to $20 return on investment via reduced health care costs for every dollar spent on tobacco-cessation services.

More than 77,000 Coloradans have stopped smoking with assistance from QuitLogix by calling the Colorado Quitline. Statewide that will mean more than 15,000 fewer cases of COPD, 5,400 fewer cases of lung cancer and 20,000 fewer cases of heart disease for these individuals in the future.

“Colorado continues to be our largest client and a leader in innovation,” said Robin Daigh, president of Health Initiatives at National Jewish Health. “For example, we worked collaboratively on a smoking cessation program designed for pregnant and post-partum women, which has been very successful and is being adopted as a model by other states.”

The successful behavioral change approach used with smoking in QuitLogix was used by National Jewish Health as a model for the creation of FitLogix®, a weight management program. The FitLogix Program offers customized personal coaching, Web-based education and support, and wireless activity monitors and scales to help people lose weight and improve their fitness level. National Jewish Health began offering this program to corporate clients in 2008.

“Smoking and obesity are the number one and number two causes of preventable illness in this country, and a major cause of health care spending. Health care costs associated with treating conditions caused by obesity now surpass costs related to treating the diseases associated with smoking,” said Daigh. “We consider our strength to be our expertise in the use of behavioral change techniques to help people create permanent lifestyle changes. We took lessons learned from developing our QuitLogix Program and used them to create our FitLogix Program.”

Together, QuitLogix and FitLogix produce roughly $8 million in annual revenue for National Jewish Health.

“This revenue is important to the institution as it helps fund key research and development projects,” said Daigh. “In fact, nearly 100 percent of dollars earned are reinvested in medical and scientific research of chronic diseases.”

National Jewish Health is known worldwide for treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders, and for groundbreaking medical research. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health remains the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to these disorders. Since 1998, U.S. News & World Report has ranked National Jewish Health the number one respiratory hospital in the nation.

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