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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Fax to Quit: Feedback from the Field

Robin J. Perry, BS, CHES, University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, 1930 Monroe Street, Suite 200, Madison, WI 53711


Clinics and healthcare systems, in Wisconsin and beyond, have demonstrated great interest in fax referral programs as a way to increase capacity for treating tobacco addiction. These programs show great promise as cost-effective ways to promote state quit lines and integrate them into usual medical care. The University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI) launched the Fax to Quit program in 2003, and it is now established at over 560 sites across Wisconsin. Even with high demand for this service linking patients directly to the state quit line, little is known about its effectiveness. The purpose of this survey was to identify barriers and benefits of this program from the perspective of healthcare providers.


Utilizing an online questionnaire, UW-CTRI surveyed 560 providers with a 52% return rate. Links to the online survey were sent both electronically and via fax. The turnaround time for survey completion was two weeks, with a reminder notice going out to all potential participants one week after initial messaging.


This provider survey found that 88% of respondents indicated having adequate knowledge and skills to implement Fax to Quit effectively. Forty-seven percent indicated an ask rate of 100% regarding patient tobacco use, with 21% reporting discussing Fax to Quit with all of their tobacco using patients. In 52% of sites, nurses hold the primary responsibility for implementing Fax to Quit. Primary barriers to utilization reported included, lack of interest by patients/clients and lack of staff time to address tobacco use during visit.