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NAQC Newsroom: Tobacco Control

Joint Commission Announces its New Tobacco Measure Set

Tuesday, July 5, 2011  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Dear Colleagues,

The U.S. Joint Commission has released its long-awaited tobacco measure set. The new certification measures will require participating hospitals to screen all inpatients for tobacco, provide counseling and pharmacologic treatment to tobacco users, and provide limited follow-up after discharge. This measure set is currently being incorporated into the Joint Commission/CMS specifications manual for national hospital inpatient quality measures, and provides a tremendous opportunity for quitlines to partner with hospitals.

NAQC would like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Michael Fiore and the Partnership for Prevention for leadership on this effort. PFP provided the original funding for development and pilot testing of the measure set. Partnership's ActionToQuit initiative advocates that all hospitals and health systems in the nation contribute to the public's health by making tobacco cessation a priority. While tobacco screening/treatment for all patients is currently the practice in some hospitals, by and large it is not a routine procedure in spite of broad agreement that cessation treatments are both effective and cost-effective. Hospitalization provides an ideal opportunity to deliver interventions that can help tobacco users quit.

While this is a significant step forward for tobacco cessation in the U.S., there is much more work to be done before all hospitals, health centers, and addiction treatment facilities establish this as a standard practice.

To view the measure set visit the Joint Commission website and look for Specifications Manual version 4.0:

The four tobacco measures have are linked below:

Tobacco Measure 1
Tobacco Measure 2
Tobacco Measure 3
Tobacco Measure 4


Linda A. Bailey, JD, MHS
President and CEO

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