Preventive Medicine Reports | 2019
Disparities in knowledge and use of tobacco treatment among smokers in California following healthcare reform
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) promised to narrow smoking disparities by expanding access to healthcare and mandating comprehensive coverage for tobacco treatment starting in 2014. We examined whether two years after ACA implementation disparities in receiving clinician advice to quit and smokers knowledge and use of treatment resources remained. We conducted telephone interviews in 2016 with a stratified random sample of self-reported smokers newly enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California s (KPNC) integrated healthcare delivery system in 2014 (N\u202f=\u202f491; 50% female; 53% non-white; 6% Spanish language). We used Poisson regression with robust standard errors to test whether sociodemographics, insurance type, comorbidities, smoking status in 2016 (former, light/nondaily [<5 cigarettes per day], daily), and preferred language (English or Spanish) were associated with receiving clinician advice to quit and knowledge and use of tobacco treatment. We included an interaction between smoking status and language to test whether the relation between smoking status and key outcomes varied with preferred language. Overall, 80% of respondents received clinician advice to quit, 84% knew that KPNC offers cessation counseling, 54% knew that cessation pharmacotherapy is free, 54% used pharmacotherapy, and 6% used counseling. In multivariate models, Spanish-speaking light/nondaily smokers had significantly lower rates of all outcomes, while there was no association with other demographic and clinical characteristics. Following ACA implementation, most smokers newly enrolled in KPNC received clinician advice to quit and over half used pharmacotherapy, yet counseling utilization was low. Spanish-language outreach efforts and treatment services are recommended, particularly for adults who are light/nondaily smokers.