Truth Initiative® and Blue Shield of California Team Up to Help Millions Quit Tobacco
EX® Program Brings Quit Smoking Tools to Blue Shield of California Wellvolution Network of Digital Health Solutions
It’s been known for decades that tobacco use is deadly. Now, in the context of a global pandemic of respiratory illness, it is even more important for people to quit. Of the 49 million Americans who use tobacco, nearly 70 percent of smokers and 60 percent of e-cigarette users want to stop. To make evidence-based digital support to quit easily accessible to more than four million members, Blue Shield of California (BSC) is teaming up with the EX® Program by Truth Initiative, a national public health organization that is inspiring lives free from smoking, vaping and nicotine.
Available through the BSC digital health platform Wellvolution — built in collaboration with Phoenix-based Solera Health — the EX Program joins a network of clinically proven health tools available online for BSC consumers. Through the EX Program, BSC members will have access to a personalized quit plan, live chat coaching and medication guidance from tobacco treatment specialists, 24/7 peer support from a thriving social community, interactive quitting tools and videos, and tailored text messaging. The program is available at no cost to members enrolled in Blue Shield’s fully insured employer-sponsored plans or its individual and family plans.
“Joining the Wellvolution network of best-in-class health-management and wellness tools is a natural fit for us, because providing on-demand access to clinically proven resources has always been a critical component of our quit-tobacco offerings,” said Jenn Gendron, Head of Development, Innovations at Truth Initiative.
“The vast network of Blue Shield is helping us expand our reach to bring evidence-based support and lifesaving tools to help even more members quit, which is especially critical now as new data continues to connect smoking with adverse outcomes of COVID-19,” Gendron continued. “Recent research also shows that e-cigarettes are a potential risk factor for the coronavirus.”
Developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, the EX Program is an enterprise-level, digital tobacco cessation program designed for employers and health plans. The EX Program grew out of Truth Initiative’s field-leading research and long history of building engaging digital interventions. To date, more than 910,000 participants have enrolled in EX, developing the skills and confidence that are critical for quitting tobacco successfully. Research has shown that following the EX quit plan quadruples a tobacco user's chance of quitting. In response to the e-cigarette epidemic, in 2019, the EX Program grew to include cessation support for e-cigarettes, as well as resources for parents who want to help their child quit vaping.