Pines Health Services launches new program to support patients looking to quit smoking

12 months ago

CARIBOU, Maine – Pines Health Services is launching a new nicotine replacement therapy program to help patients that are ready to start their journey to quit smoking. 

“We are excited to be able to offer this support for our patients,” said Lisa Caron, chief operating officer at Pines Health Services. “Quitting smoking can be challenging and patients are more likely to be successful with this goal when they have outside support.”

When patients are ready to quit and get a referral to the Maine QuitLink, Pines Health Services primary care providers will provide Nicotine Replacement Therapy kits to these patients. There are two types of kits that will be available to participating patients: 

  1. Kit #1 will include 14 mg nicotine patches, 2 mg nicotine lozenges and 2 mg nicotine gum
  2. Kit #2 will include 21 mg nicotine patches, 4 mg nicotine lozenges and 4 mg nicotine gum

This project is funded by a grant from Maine Health – Center for Tobacco Independence through June 2024. The project is intended to assess readiness for tobacco cessation among Pines’ patient population and provide patients the needed support to successfully quit. 

“Over the past few months I worked with Dr. John Armstrong, Dr. Caleb Swanberg and Amy Michaud, RMA, Women’s & Children’s Practice Lead to trial this project,” said Pines Clinical Care Coordinator Katherine Lagasse, BSN, RN. “Because of the positive feedback, the grant was extended and we are able to provide the kits to all of our primary care providers at our health centers.” 

In addition to the NRT, the kits will include educational materials that outline tips and resources that help ensure success with quitting. The kits are intended to bridge patients until the Maine QuitLink reaches out to them. Once the Maine QuitLink reaches out to patients, they will then provide the patient with an additional 12 week supply of NRT at no cost to the patient. Additionally, the respiratory department at Cary Medical Center will also have kits on hand for patients being discharged who express readiness for smoking cessation.

Pines Health Services is a non-profit, community-based multi-specialty physician practice serving the residents of northern and central Aroostook County. Pines providers are committed to excellence in patient-centered health care and to improving the lives of those we serve. Our team of providers, nurses and support staff are actively engaged in advancing the health and wellness needs of people in the County, with a special focus on the unserved and underserved.