OAKLAND, Calif. (November 18, 2020) – In its ongoing focus to help Californians make sustainable lifestyle changes for their long-term health and well-being, Blue Shield of California today announced the addition of three tobacco-cessation online providers to its popular Wellvolution platform, the largest digital therapeutics and community network in the healthcare industry.
The announcement coincides with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on November 19, which focuses the attention of millions of smokers on the lifetime benefits of quitting tobacco.
“We’re adding our voice to that important message with three new, clinically validated digital programs to help people quit smoking or vaping,” said Angie Kalousek, director of Mind-Body Medicine at Blue Shield. “Research shows that 49 million Americans now use tobacco of some kind with cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes topping the list. That is a staggering number of people putting their health at risk for multiple diseases.”
The three new clinically proven health solutions now available online to Blue Shield’s Wellvolution participants are:
- EX® Program by Truth Initiative provides Blue Shield members access to a personalized quit plan; live chat coaching and medication guidance from tobacco treatment specialists; 24/7 peer support; interactive quitting tools and videos; and tailored text messaging. Developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, the program grew out of the national public health organization Truth Initiative’s leading research and long history of building engaging digital interventions that inspire lives free from smoking, vaping and nicotine.
- Clickotine by Click Therapeutics, Inc. is a comprehensive digital therapeutic program for smoking cessation that can be downloaded on a smartphone. The app provides an individualized program that is fully integrated with nicotine replacement therapy. Through cognitive and neurobehavioral mechanisms, Click’s Digital Therapeutics™ enable change within individuals, and are designed to be used independently or in conjunction with biomedical treatments.
- QuitSmart Mindfully by eMindful takes participants through 12 sessions that include live interactive virtual sessions with teachers and personalized strategies that smokers can integrate into their daily lives. The program demonstrates how smokers can minimize stress and cravings, build awareness of behavior patterns, identify key drivers of purposeful decision making and behavior change, and address issues of addiction to nicotine and a smoking habit.
“As an employer group that has worked closely with Blue Shield over the years to develop and manage a non-smoker incentive program for our employees, we are pleased we can add these new virtual options during the COVID-19 pandemic to help our employees who want to quit smoking and achieve their health and wellness goals,” said Tom Hatch, chief human resources officer at County of Orange.
Kalousek added, “We are offering three new tobacco-cessation programs because each offers members a unique experience. Not every person quits in the same way and these options allow for member choice.”
Key facts about smoking:
- Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world.
- More than 16 million people in America live with a smoking-related disease. (e.g. cancer, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes)
- Every year more than 480,000 people in the U.S. die from illnesses related to tobacco use, representing one out of five deaths in the U.S.1
- 49 million Americans use tobacco of some kind.
- Cigarettes – 32.4 million
- Cigars – 9.6 million
- E-cigarettes – 8.1 million
- Smokeless tobacco – 5.9 million
- Pipes – 2.6 million2
Wellvolution is a digitally based lifestyle medicine and health platform that can be personalized to each of its members’ individual health needs and preferences. Created in collaboration with Solera Health, Wellvolution provides members guided on-demand access to a tailored network of clinically proven applications using lifestyle to prevent, treat and even reverse disease. It is available to most Blue Shield members with their benefit plan at no additional cost, and is an example of how the nonprofit health plan is reimagining health for individuals, families and communities.
2 Creamer MC et al. Tobacco Product Use and Cessation Indications Among Adults –United States, 2018. MMWR, 2019
About Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California strives to create a healthcare system worthy of its family and friends that is sustainably affordable. Blue Shield of California is a tax paying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association with over four million members, 6,800 employees and more than $20 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare healthcare service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $500 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation since 2002 to have an impact on California communities. For more news about Blue Shield of California, please visit news.blueshieldca.com
Solera is committed to changing lives by guiding people to better health in their communities. The company has built a dynamic platform that provides intensive, evidence-based, lifestyle and behavioral social interventions to impact the costliest chronic conditions in the country. Solera’s marketplace strategically matches consumers to curated disease prevention with a network of community organizations and digital therapeutics providers delivering the most meaningful health outcomes. Solera is HITRUST certified, the most prestigious certification for meeting healthcare regulations and requirements for protecting and securing sensitive private healthcare information. For more information, visit Solera at www.soleranetwork.com