Health Policy Update

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March 16, 2017

In February, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter signed House Bill 4, which allows pharmacists to prescribe tobacco cessation products. Idaho’s new law takes effect on July 17 and includes educational and administrative requirements for pharmacists including:

  • Successful completion of a course on tobacco cessation therapy.
  • Use of a screening procedure to identify appropriate candidates.
  • Referral of high-risk or unsuitable patients or patients with contraindications to a non-pharmacist healthcare provider.
  • Documentation of screening and prescription record.
  • Development and implementation of a follow-up care plan.
  • Notification of the patient’s primary care provider within five days of prescribing a tobacco cessation product.
  • Recommendation that the patient seek additional assistance with his or her quit attempt (i.e., through the Idaho QuitLine or a similar service). 

ASTHO is currently tracking bills from at least five other states (Arizona, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, and Texas) that would allow pharmacists to provide tobacco cessation therapies. California, New Mexico, and Oregon have already established ways for pharmacists to initiate tobacco cessation therapies. To learn more, check out ASTHO’s policy scan Tobacco Cessation via Pharmacists. There are also scans on Preventing Youth Exposure to Tobacco Product Advertising and Reducing Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in Multi-Unit Housing that provide a snapshot of state-level policies.