Elisa Tong, M.D., M.S., has long been affiliated with CHPR, starting as a junior research mentee and progressing into a nationally recognized scholar who contributes significantly to local, state, and national tobacco cessation efforts.

Over the last six years, Dr. Tong’s work has gained national importance due to her research into the impacts of linking the California state tobacco quitline to electronic health records. Her work has contributed to changes in the Medi-Cal tobacco policy and University of California and California Community College campus smoking policies for hundreds of thousands of students, staff, and faculty. Changes to these policies influence young adult behavior and have significant, life-long, and positive health (and cost) effects.

Dr. Tong and her team are currently conducting two large tobacco cessation research projects at CHPR. The projects complement each other in their focus on multi-sector initiatives that implement and scale the integration of evidence-based treatments for tobacco dependence into safety-net clinics and hospitals to encourage tobacco cessation and mitigate health disparities.

Recent Highlights

CA Quits Project

This project comprises a partnership of 58 local health departments, 57 safety net hospitals, 23 Medi-Cal plans, and 169 public clinics which seeks to reduce tobacco use through creating “learning collaborativeson tobacco topics for safety-net clinic systemsDr. Tong’s 6-person staff engages clinic personnel in discussions about how they can assess tobacco use, integrate evidence-based tobacco treatments, and improve responses to cessation efforts. CHPR faculty members Ulfat Shaikh, Bimla Schwarz, and Patrick Romano are also part of the CA Quits team.

eConsult Cessation Services Project

This program, conducted in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Care Services, is delivered through the public/private clinic system in order to improve the reach, effectiveness and efficiencies of tobacco cessation services. Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the U.S. and has the largest population of tobacco users in California. The cumulative impact of this intervention research is expected to extend far beyond California.

CHPR Faculty Tobacco Cessation Work

Additional tobacco cessation work carried out by CHPR faculty members includes:

All of this actionable research informs clinicians, reforms policies to improve outcomes and quality of life, and reduces the costs of care.