July 2009


Research Highlights
Other Cessation News


Research Highlights

Other Cessation News




New Media and Cessation Highlighted in Journal Issue

The current Summer 2009 issue of Cases in Public Health Communication & Marketing (Cases) features two invited case studies on the use of new media for tobacco cessation as a result of NTCC’s work with The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (GW), which develops and edits the online journal. “Mobile Phones and the Internet as Quitting Smoking Aids” and “‘Own Your C,’ Colorado's Youth Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Campaign” provide the public health community with practical examples of ways that new media technologies are being used to promote and assist smokers in quitting smoking.

“Mobile Phones and the Internet as Quitting Smoking Aids” examines an innovative cessation support website and mobile phone text messaging-based service in New Zealand. New Zealand’s Quit Group (Quit) re-designed their website in 2007 to provide an interactive, web-based service. The new website provides information on quitting; an online ordering service for subsidized NRT; and interactive components, including a quit calculator, blogs, a member-only section and automated QuitTip emails.

Last year, Quit rolled out a cutting-edge, mobile-phone text messaging-based service called Txt2Quit. This service sends automated text messages to smokers trying to quit that provide tips and support. One novel feature of the service is the ability for the smoker to text the words “crave” and “slip-up” to receive an immediate text message response containing a tip for dealing with a sudden craving or slip-up.

The effectiveness of the website and Txt2Quit were measured on volume of service usage and appeal to smokers who are different from those using the traditional Quitline service.

  • Over a 6-month period in 2008, an average of 458 and 317 new clients per month registered for the web community and the Txt2Quit, respectively.
  • The website and Txt2Quit tended to attract more female smokers and younger smokers than the quitline.

The second featured case study, “‘Own Your C,’ Colorado's Youth Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Campaign” reviews the development and implementation of the campaign from Colorado’s State Tobacco Education & Prevention Partnership (STEPP) at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). In 2006, STEPP partnered with a local advertising agency to create an integrated, public education campaign to decrease tobacco use and encourage healthy behavior among teens that would be highly relevant, engaging and socially significant to all teens - not just those who smoke.

Rather than preach, the aggregated campaign empowers teens to make educated choices and to recognize the consequences of those choices - to own their "C." The objectives of the campaign are to:

  • Help teens identify choices in their lives
  • Normalize positive choice-making behavior
  • Promote making smart, healthy choices by preventing tobacco use, improving nutrition and encouraging physical activity.

A youth-relevant brand was created to compete not just against other public health messages, but other youth brands. Campaign elements were designed to work with and complement current fashions and trends of the youth culture. The campaign elements include a website, www.ownyourC.com; online advertising; social media; TV spots; and outreach, such as a branded ice cream truck, promotion items (jump-drives, magnets, stickers, t-shirts and winter hats) and quit kits.

The “Own Your ‘C’” campaign has gained traction among Colorado's youth. It has:

  • Generated 47,000 visitors to the website
  • Reached 4.5 million Colorado teens with TV spots
  • Conducted more than 430 events in each of Colorado's 64 counties, reaching more than 75,000 students.

More importantly, Colorado youth are receptive to the campaign and have actively engaged in the online community to converse about health-related topics, including tobacco. The average visitor spends six and a half minutes or more on the site and views 27 pages per visit. Furthermore, teens have thanked campaign leaders for being "refreshing" and "non-preachy."

NTCC’s work with the Cases journal follows prior work with GW’s Dr. Lorien Abroms, assistant research professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health, to develop the first evidence-based iPhone app for tobacco cessation, “My QuitLine.” “My QuitLine links users to the National Cancer Institute’s quitline service where they can speak to a live quitline coach or use live text to get advice on quitting (go to http://www.tobacco-cessation.org/PDFs/MyQuitLinePressReleaseFINAL.pdf learn more).

To view the full New Media & Smoking Cessation case studies or to get more information on Cases in Public Health Communication & Marketing, please visit http://www.gwumc.edu/sphhs/departments/pch/phcm/casesjournal/volume3/index.cfm.

Top ButtonTOP

Research Highlights

Gays and Lesbians More Likely to Smoke (By Quite a Bit), Study Shows

Among homosexuals, 37 percent of women smoke and 33 percent of men smoke. This is compared to 18 percent of heterosexual women and 24 percent of heterosexual men.

These figures come from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Published in the August issue of Tobacco Control, they're based on a review of 42 studies about tobacco use among sexual minorities.

It's not that the finding that gays and lesbians are more likely to smoke is new. According to the summary of an earlier report from the CDC, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2001 estimated smoking rates for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals ranged from 38 percent to 59 percent among youth and from 11 percent to 50 percent among adults. National smoking rates during comparable periods ranged from 28 percent to 35 percent for adolescents and were approximately 28 percent for adults.

But the new research helps call additional attention to, and further quantify, a serious, and well-known, health risk within the gay and lesbian community.

Said lead author Joseph Lee, a social research specialist, in the news release: "Likely explanations include the success of tobacco industry's targeted marketing to gays and lesbians, as well as time spent in smoky social venues and stress from discrimination."

Lee says: "Many gay and lesbian organizations are starting to reject addictive funding from the tobacco industry, and the community is organizing itself to address this health inequality through the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network."

The study can be accessed at http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/18/4/275.

For more information, see web link:
LA Times July 24, 2009


Rates Of Secondhand Smoke Exposure High Among College Students

Secondhand smoke (SHS) is not only a nuisance, but a potential health concern for many college students, and administrators should be taking steps to reduce students' exposure, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

It is the first study to provide evidence of the high rates of SHS exposure, and correlates of exposure, among college students in the United States.

Funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the study can be found online and will appear in the July 23 issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

"It is well-known that there are some serious health issues surrounding secondhand smoke," said Mark Wolfson, Ph.D., lead author on the study, professor and section head for the Section on Society and Health in the Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy. "While some college campuses are smoke free, others have virtually no restrictions on smoking, not even in the residence halls. There is a growing national movement to move away from that, but it still very much varies by campus. In this first study to evaluate SHS exposure among college students, we were really kind of floored to see how many, and how frequently, students are exposed to it."

For the study, researchers surveyed 4,223 undergraduate college students from 10 North Carolina universities – eight public and two private. They were asked questions about their drinking and smoking habits, demographics (age, gender, race, parents' education level), lifestyle (residence on- or off-campus, living in a substance-free dormitory, participation in a fraternity or sorority) and SHS exposure.

Of the participants, 83 percent reported having been exposed to SHS at least once in the seven days preceding the survey. Most of those exposures (65 percent) happened at a restaurant or bar, followed by exposure at home or in the same room as a smoker (55 percent) and in a car (38 percent).

Daily and occasional smokers were more likely than nonsmokers to report exposure, perhaps not surprising given that they are more likely than other students to have friends who smoke and to frequent or live in locations where smoking occurs, according to the study. Similarly, students who binge drink were more likely than other students to report exposure to SHS, likely reflective of the co-occurrence of smoking and drinking among college students.

Other factors that appeared to be associated with increased exposure to SHS included living in residence locations where smoking is allowed or locations associated with smoking, such as Greek houses and off-campus housing, being female, of white race, having parents with higher education levels and attending a public versus private school.

Nearly all nonsmokers (93.9 percent) and the majority of smokers (57.8 percent) reported that SHS was somewhat or very annoying.

Recent studies suggest that most colleges do not have a comprehensive ban on smoking. In fact, in another study of the largest public university in each of the 50 states, researchers found that only 54 percent of schools banned smoking inside student housing and 50 percent banned smoking outside building entrances. As a result, college students are likely to be exposed to SHS regularly.

More than 10 million individuals were enrolled in 4-year degree-granting institutions in fall 2002, thus colleges represent a key setting for preventing exposure to SHS to promote public health.

Although college administrators may be limited in their ability to affect exposure in some locations, they have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for students, the authors wrote in their study, and should consider looking at ways to take steps to reduce smoking and concomitant exposure to SHS among their students. Such steps include enacting smoke-free campus policies and offering smoking cessation services, such as those recommended by the American College Health Association.

For more information, see web link:
ScienceDaily July 22, 2009


New Survey Highlights Emotional, Financial Toll Multi-Generational Tobacco Use Takes on Parents Sandwiched In Between

Amanda Crawford was just fifteen when she smoked her first cigarette. Now that she is 45, she still smokes despite having tried to quit multiple times. Children are fifty percent more likely to start smoking if they have a parent who smokes – and in Crawford’s case, it was her father who smoked. Born and raised in Virginia, she met and married her husband - also a smoker - in Roanoke. The Crawfords now have three sons - 28, 14 and 11. “Our 28-year old started smoking when he turned 18 and our 14-year old is already sneaking cigarettes. My father quit smoking later in his life, but I’m concerned about how smoking will affect the health of our entire family,” she said.

She is not alone. As caregivers across the country mobilize for Sandwich Generation Month in July, the American Legacy Foundation® released the results of a recent survey analyzing the unique concerns associated with tobacco use and prevention for Americans raising their own kids while simultaneously caring for their aging parents – millions of whom have been life-long smokers and are now struggling with the resulting health effects. Lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, can all afflict aging smokers and can be emotionally and financially debilitating for families forced to cope with them.

The survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, found that 75 percent of respondents with a parent who is a current or former smoker are concerned about their aging parent’s current or past smoking or their diagnosis of having a tobacco-related disease. Thirty-four percent of respondents with teenage or adult children indicated that they were concerned about their child’s current or potential smoking. About 5 percent of respondents were “sandwiched” in between: struggling with issues related to both their parents and children smoking. Nationwide, this small percentage translates to more than 10 million Americans in this situation.

The survey highlights the unique position of this group of Americans and their concerns about the impact of the nation’s number-one preventable cause of death on their emotional and financial well-being. Treating tobacco- related disease is enormously expensive for families and for the healthcare system. A 2007 American Legacy Foundation report found that America's Medicaid system could spend nearly $10 billion less within five years if all Medicaid beneficiaries who smoke, quit. Effective smoking prevention and cessation programs could cut Medicaid costs by 5.6 percent.

Results from this survey also found that while just over a third of respondents are concerned about their own kids smoking, 56 percent of all respondents feel that a national youth smoking prevention campaign will keep kids from lighting up. Almost half (49 percent) think that a national quit smoking campaign will help reduce healthcare costs across the country.

“As healthcare reform and the economy dominate our headlines, we simply cannot ignore the burden of smoking on the health of America’s families”, said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH. “This snapshot into the lives and concerns of this segment of our population reinforces the urgency with which more resources which will return money and lives as dividends,” she said. This is especially important given one in five of those concerned about their parents say the healthcare costs associated with smoking are impacting their family’s financial situation more than ever.

Late last year, the foundation commissioned an online survey by Harris Interactive analyzing the impact of the economic crisis on smokers. In that survey, 77 percent of smokers report increased stress levels due to the current state of the economy and two-thirds of those smokers say this stress has had an effect on their smoking.

The single best way for smokers to improve their health is to quit. Forty-six million Americans have stopped smoking but currently 43 million still do. On average, it takes 8-11 attempts before a smoker quits for good so adopting a personalized, comprehensive quit plan is critical to increasing the odds for success. The free, state-of-the-art EX® campaign is helping smokers quit by arming them with the best information available to re-learn their lives without cigarettes. Visit http://www.becomeanex.org/ for more information.

The current survey was conducted on behalf of the American Legacy Foundation by Opinion Research Corporation’s CARAVAN® Telephone Survey among a national probability sample of 1,002 adults 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States, during the period June 19-22, 2009. A full methodology is available.

For more information, see web link:
American Legacy Foundation News Release July 14, 2009


Wearing the Nicotine Patch Before Quitting Increases Success, Study Says

Smokers who wear a nicotine patch for two weeks before they quit smoking are twice as likely to kick the habit as those who put on the patch on the day they quit, finds a new study, published online in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Smokers, and the physicians who advise them, have always been wary of suggesting the use of patch and cigarettes together for fear that the two-fisted approach would cause nicotine overdoses. And the labels of nicotine patches reflect that concern, warning would-be quitters not to use both at once.

But researchers at Duke University's Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research found that smokers who wore the smoking-cessation aid before they smoked were more likely to decrease the number of cigarettes they smoked in the two-week period before their official quit date. That's probably because the patch was satisfying some of their desire for nicotine, they surmised. When the time came to quit, it would seem that some had already dialed down their need to light up and puff.

In all, 22 percent of those who wore the patch for two weeks before quitting abstained continuously from cigarettes for 10 weeks. Only 11 percent of those who wore a fake patch -- the placebo -- abstained for that long.

For more information, see web link:
LA Times July 9, 2009


Study Suggests Both Good and Bad Movie Characters Influence Teen Smoking Initiation

A study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests that movie characters, regardless of whether they are perceived as good or bad, influence teens to try smoking cigarettes, United Press International reports.

While previous studies have associated depictions of smoking in movies to initiation of smoking in teens, researchers at Hanover, N.H.-based Dartmouth Medical School sought to determine whether different characters have different levels of influence on smoking initiation.

Sampling movies released during a 24-month period, the researchers identified 3,848 major characters in the films, with smokers representing 22.8 percent of 518 negative characters, 13.7 percent of 2,486 positive characters, and 21.1 percent of 844 perceived neutral characters.

Based on a survey of 6,522 adolescents conducted at four points during the 24-month study period, the researchers determined that exposure to episodes of negative character smoking had the strongest influence on smoking initiation. However, because there are more so-called good characters portrayed as smoking in movies, the net effect on smoking initiation is similar.

Based on these findings, the researchers conclude that movie character smoking is an influence on adolescent smoking, regardless of character type, a factor that they say underscores the need to limit exposure to all movie smoking. Moreover, the study's lead author suggests that "parents should limit movie viewing and specifically restrict access to R-rated movies, which tend to contain more smoking" and, in cases where smoking is depicted, engage their children in a conversation to discourage initiation of smoking.

For more information, see web link:
RWJF Public Health Digest July 6, 2009


Secondhand Smoke Threatens Casino Workers’ Health

New research suggests that casino workers face a higher risk of heart disease and lung cancer because they work in buildings filled with tobacco smoke.

By one scientist’s calculation, six of every 10,000 nonsmoking casino employees in Pennsylvania will die each year because of exposure to secondhand smoke.

The estimate does not rely on the tracking of individual casino workers over time, nor does it compare them to workers who have not had smoke exposure. Still, the findings suggest a significant risk to the health of the workers, said study author James Repace, a Washington D.C.-area consultant who studies the effects of secondhand smoke.

Casino workers “are really the most exposed group in society now,” Repace said. “The only other group that’s exposed so much is bartenders,” but many states have banned smoking in bars and restaurants.

The Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute — which has studied the risk of secondhand smoke to flight attendants when airlines allowed smoking — funded the study. The casino findings appear online and in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Nonsmoking mandates at casinos remain rare in the United States. As a result, gambling and smoking still have a strong connection.

In the new study, Repace recruited volunteers to visit three Pennsylvania casinos for four hours. After the visits, he measured the levels of a byproduct of tobacco smoke in the urine of eight subjects.

The levels were approximately 10 times higher than average.

Repace also tested the air quality inside three casinos. He found that the levels of two indicators of tobacco smoke — cancer-causing chemicals and particles small enough to inhale — were an average of four to six times higher inside than outside.

Both measurements led to the estimate of the number of deaths attributable to tobacco exposure in non-smoking casino workers in Pennsylvania; Repace said the total number of casino workers in the state is expected to soon reach 12,000.

Scientists expect that more than 90 percent of the deaths will be from heart disease, with the rest from lung cancer, which is uncommon in nonsmokers. Repace said that an annual death rate of six per 10,000 is roughly five times the extra risk of death for mineworkers from Pennsylvania mine disasters.

For more information, see web link:
NewsWire June 30, 2009


Top ButtonTOP

Other Cessation News

Longtime Dealer Sues Caesars Over Second-hand Smoke

A proposed class-action lawsuit was filed in Las Vegas against Harrah's Entertainment Inc. and Caesars Palace, alleging Caesars isn't doing enough to protect casino workers from second-hand tobacco smoke.

The lead plaintiff is Tomo Stephens, who says she was a blackjack dealer for about 20 years at Harrah's-owned Caesars on the Las Vegas Strip and quit her job June 16 on the advice of her doctor.

The federal lawsuit says pre-cancerous cells were found in her stomach and that over the years she was exposed to second-hand smoke causing irritation to her eyes, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, dizziness, wheezing or tightness in the chest, headache, nausea and ingestion of cancer-causing chemicals and toxins.

The lawsuit seeks to represent as a class all former, current and future Caesars employees exposed to unsafe levels of second-hand smoke.

The lawsuit alleges that while Las Vegas competitors such as the Bellagio and Palazzo have taken significant steps to deal with second-hand smoke, about all that Caesars has done is make some of its poker rooms smoke-free.

"Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, Caesars Palace has failed to protect the health and welfare of many of its employees who must perform their jobs while breathing in second-hand smoke," the suit charges.

Harrah's attorneys had not seen the lawsuit and the company had no comment on it, a spokeswoman said.

In the suit against Caesars, the property specifically is accused of encouraging its customers to smoke. Employees walk the gaming floor selling cigars and cigarettes and Caesars provides free cigarettes to gamblers, the suit charges.

The property has not designated part of the casino floor smoke-free and lacks an adequate ventilation system, the suit says.

It alleges employees are forbidden from complaining about second-hand smoke and dealers cannot ask smokers to blow smoke away from their tables or move their ashtrays, the suit alleges.

The suit does not seek to recover damages for employees' alleged health problems related to tobacco smoke.

Rather, it seeks an order requiring Caesars Palace to take "reasonable measures" to protect its employees from second-hand smoke and that Harrah's make informational pamphlets detailing the dangers of second-hand smoke available at its health and wellness center.

The lawsuit notes that Caesars Palace was included in a study released in May by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health confirming casino dealers had traces of a tobacco-specific carcinogen in their urine.

The results from 124 casino dealers at Bally’s, Caesars Palace and Paris Las Vegas -- all Harrah's properties -- were expected to back up the argument that casinos implement smoking bans.

The NIOSH report concluded: "Non-poker casino dealers at Bally’s, Paris, and Caesars Palace casinos are exposed to ETS (environmental tobacco smoke) in the workplace air, and have absorbed an ETS-specific component into their bodies, as demonstrated by detectable levels of urinary NNAL (a known lung carcinogen). The increase in NNAL in the urine of most non-poker casino dealers at the end of their work shift demonstrates that non-poker casino dealers are exposed to a known carcinogen in the tobacco smoke at the casinos. Non-poker casino dealers reported a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms than to unexposed workers, but the results were not statistically significant. The best means of eliminating workplace exposure to ETS is to ban all smoking in the casinos."

For more information, see web link:
Las Vegas Sun July 23, 2009


American Lung Association Supports Department Of Housing And Urban Development Recommendation On Non-Smoking Policies In Public Housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control and its Office of Public and Indian Housing issued new recommendations for non-smoking policies for public housing. These recommendations strongly encourage Public Housing Authorities to enact non-smoking policies in some or all of their public housing units.

The American Lung Association applauds HUD on these important recommendations that could result in protection for residents of public housing across the country, especially children, the elderly and people with chronic lung diseases. Residents of public housing are among those most at risk from unhealthy air from a variety of factors, including a high prevalence of secondhand smoke. The Lung Association strongly recommends that all public housing units adopt non-smoking policies to ensure no one - especially children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases - has to breathe dangerous secondhand smoke.

Because tobacco smoke can migrate between units in multiunit housing, it can cause respiratory illness, heart disease, cancer, and other adverse health effects in neighboring families. Exposure to secondhand smoke impedes the development of a child's lungs, aggravates asthma, often resulting in hospitalizations, and causes scores of other health problems. Smoking is also a major cause of fires and fire-related deaths and injuries.

Secondhand smoke is particularly harmful to children, whose lungs are still developing. A 2007 Johns Hopkins University study of home indoor pollutant exposure among inner city children found that between 57 and 60 percent of these children lived with at least one person who smoked.

The Lung Association also recommends increased smoking cessation support through public health programs, especially Medicaid, to more effectively reduce exposure to smoke among this very vulnerable population. As the HUD memo noted, the Lung Association maintains information on tobacco cessation coverage and services provided in each state at http://www.lungusa.org/cessationcoverage.

The HUD notice is posted at http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/publications/notices/09/pih2009-21.pdf.

For more information, see web link:
Medical News Today July 21, 2009


New Online Health Promotion Courses Provide Education in Tobacco Counseling Strategies for All Child Health Professionals

Pediatrics in Practice (www.pediatricsinpractice.org) announces the launch of health promotion online courses on tobacco counseling designed for nurses, pediatricians and other child health professionals. Funded by Pfizer Inc. through an unrestricted medical education grant, this new tobacco-counseling course is comprised of three modules that support health professionals in conveying smoking prevention messages to early adolescent females (8-11 yrs. old) and their families.

Drawing upon the earlier successes of Pediatrics in Practice, this Web site, based at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) and Dartmouth Medical School, provides a complete series of health promotion online courses. All courses presented at Pediatrics in Practice have been created to advance the ideal health-promotion core competencies for the effective practice and treatment of children and their families.

"Despite a national decline in smoking rates, young girls are exposed to intense social and media pressures to smoke," said Dr. Henry (Hank) Bernstein, professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School, who led the team that developed the new program. "Our online courses support the health professional in applying concrete strategies to open and maintain the conversation with young girls and their families around smoking prevention and cessation."

The complete Pediatrics in Practice tobacco counseling program offers high quality content through interactive features. Three important patient-provider concepts are included:

  • Promoting Health Among Adolescent Girls
  • Communicating Prevention and Cessation Messages
  • Partnership Building for Effective Counseling

"We know that young girls (and boys) perceive their doctors as credible and want to talk about these issues with them. As health care providers we have to capitalize on these critical opportunities so that we can reduce smoking related diseases and illness among girls and women in the future," he says.

For more information, see web link:
PRWeb July 21, 2009


Adult Smoking Drops in Arkansas

New survey information shows there are nearly 10,000 fewer smokers in Arkansas since the beginning of the Arkansas Department of Health's (ADH) Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program in 2002. When the program started in 2002, 25.1 percent adults smoked in the state; more current data show that those numbers have decreased to approximately 20.7 percent.

Dr. Paul Halverson, director of the ADH and state health officer said, "We are encouraged by these results." Overcoming tobacco addiction is one of the hardest things anyone can do -- especially for adults that have been smoking for a long time. We applaud these Arkansans who have beaten addiction and celebrate with them as they lead healthier lives. However, we still have more work to do as we have many Arkansans that would benefit from a tobacco-free lifestyle."

"This news is also good for Arkansas's economic health," Gov. Mike Beebe said. "When fewer people smoke, we have healthier employees, healthier families and less demand for health-care services. It all adds up to a healthier workforce, which will help us in our efforts to attract new business and industry to Arkansas."

The ADH Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program (TPCP) funded through the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, works to reduce tobacco use in Arkansas. Through community and school prevention programs, a media and public relations campaign known as Stamp?Out Smoking, and cessation services for tobacco users looking to quit, TPCP continues to see the positive effects of its efforts.

"It's rewarding to see our hard work pay off with the release of these new numbers," said Dr. Carolyn Dresler, ADH Director of the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program. "It takes all of our partners working together to achieve these kinds of results and through youth prevention efforts, quitting services like the Arkansas Tobacco Quitline and policy changes like the tobacco tax, we feel confident tobacco use in Arkansas will continue to decline."

Arkansas has made significant strides over the past year to provide more services for tobacco users who want to quit and Arkansans have overwhelmingly responded. Since 2008 the toll-free Arkansas Tobacco Quitline has received more than 22,000 calls. The Quitline, found at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, now offers free motivational coaching with a QuitCoach by phone or online and free medications while supplies last.

For more information, see web link:
The News July 16, 2009


Indiana Youth Smoking Rates Lowest on Record

Indiana youth smoking rates have dropped to the lowest levels on record, according to a new report released by a state tobacco cessation and prevention organization.

Smoking rates among high school students dropped from 23.2 percent in 2006 to 18.3 percent in 2008, Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation reported, marking a decline of 21 percent. That’s according to a confidential survey of about 3,700 students in the state.

Middle school smoking rates were nearly halved, dropping from 7.7 percent in 2006 to 4.1 percent in 2008, based on a survey of about 3,300 students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade.

In addition, teen "established smokers" – those who had smoked at least 20 of the 30 days before being surveyed – dropped by more than 25 percent, from 11.7 percent in 2006 to 8.7 percent in 2008. This was seen as a particularly encouraging sign because this group is most likely to become lifelong smokers and therefore most at risk for lung cancer and other problems later.

Compared with 2000 – the first time the youth smoking surveys were conducted – high school rates have dropped 42 percent. Fewer than one in five teens surveyed in 2008 smoked, compared with nearly one in three teens in 2000. Where about one in 10 middle school-aged children smoked in 2000, the number was closer to one in 24 last year.

Indiana youth smoking surveys weren’t conducted before 2000, so an apples-to-apples comparison can’t be made with data derived before that. But in older studies teen smoking rates were "never below 30 percent," said Karla Sneegas, executive director of Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation.

In all, 52 middle schools and 47 high schools were randomly selected for the 2008 survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sneegas thinks an increase in smoking bans around the state – including Fort Wayne’s comprehensive ban – and the 2007 cigarette tax hike, along with education efforts, contributed to the youth smoking decline. Teen attitudes are changing as well, said Sneegas, the mother of a teen. A high percentage think public places and workplaces should be smoke-free, she said. A more detailed version of the ITPC survey is expected to be released later this year.

For more information, see web link:
Journal Gazette July 9, 2009


Wisconsin Tobacco Tax Increase is Positive Step for Health, but Budget Disappoints by Cutting Funding for Tobacco Prevention Programs

Wisconsin leaders have taken a positive step to protect the state's kids and taxpayers from the devastating toll of tobacco by increasing the state cigarette tax by 75 cents. However, it is deeply disappointing that despite this increase in tobacco-related revenue, state leaders approved a budget that cuts funding by more than half for critical tobacco prevention and cessation programs. This devastating cut will reduce the number of people who quit as a result of the cigarette tax increase and undermine successful programs already in place to protect kids and help smokers quit.

The budget cut will reduce the amount Wisconsin spends a year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs to just $6.85 million a year. This is barely one-tenth of the $64.3 million that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Wisconsin spend each year on such programs. It is also just a fraction of the hundreds of millions of dollars the state collects each year from tobacco taxes and the 1998 state tobacco settlement.

It is penny-wise and pound-foolish to shortchange tobacco prevention programs. These programs are proven to reduce smoking among both youth and adults, save lives and save money by reducing tobacco-related health care costs, which total more than $2 billion a year in Wisconsin. An August 2008 scientific study found that California's tobacco prevention program saved $86 billion in health care costs in its first 15 years, which is nearly 50 times what the state spent on the program. Few government programs provide such a tremendous return on investment.

Nevertheless, the cigarette tax increase, to $2.52 cents per pack, is a win-win solution for Wisconsin — a health win that will reduce tobacco use and save lives and a financial win that will raise much-needed revenue. It is also a positive step that the budget increases the tax on other tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco, which will serve to discourage youth from using all tobacco products.

Studies show that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by 7 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. Wisconsin can expect a 75-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase to prevent some 33,100 Wisconsin kids alive today from becoming smokers, spur 17,000 Wisconsin smokers to quit for good, save 15,000 Wisconsin residents from smoking-caused deaths, produce more than $740 million in long-term health care savings, and raise $97 million a year in new revenue.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. In Wisconsin, tobacco use claims more than 7,200 lives each year and costs the state $2.02 billion annually in health care bills, including $480 million in Medicaid payments alone. Government expenditures related to tobacco amount to a hidden tax of $594 every year on every Wisconsin household. More than 20 percent of Wisconsin high school students smoke, and 7,900 more kids become smokers every year.

States that have been most successful at reducing tobacco use have implemented a comprehensive approach that includes high tobacco taxes, strong smoke-free workplace laws and well-funded tobacco prevention and cessation programs. Wisconsin legislators passed important measures this year on the first two steps and the state was making progress on the third until these cuts were passed. Legislators need to take corrective steps in the future to put back in place the third critical element of the fight against tobacco by increasing funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

Wisconsin becomes the ninth state to increase its tobacco tax in 2009. The other states are Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. When all these cigarette tax increases are implemented, the average state cigarette tax will be $1.29 per pack.

For more information, see web link:
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids News Release June 30, 2009


All NC Hospitals 100 Percent Tobacco-Free as of July 6

NC Prevention Partners announced that, as of July 6, all acute care hospitals in North Carolina will have passed 100 percent tobacco-free campus policies. This means no tobacco can be used anywhere on the hospital's premises, including buildings, sidewalks, entrances, and parking lots. Over the past three years, NC Prevention Partners has guided hospitals to develop and pass the policies. The initiative was funded with a three-year grant from The Duke Endowment and in partnership with the NC Hospital Association.

"North Carolina will pass a major health milestone next week," said Dr. Meg Molloy, President and CEO of NC Prevention Partners. "We are leading the nation in tobacco-free hospitals and, with these policies in place, millions of hospital patients, visitors and employees will be protected from exposure to harmful secondhand smoke. Hospitals are natural health leaders and are setting the pace for healthy communities in North Carolina. We are grateful to The Duke Endowment and NC Hospital Association for their unwavering support."

"By going 100 percent tobacco-free campus wide, our hospitals have taken a bold step to improve the health of every patient, visitor and employee," said William Pully, President of the NC Hospital Association. "Healthy policies make good sense and are in line with our mission to improve the health of North Carolinians. I congratulate our hospital leaders for their vision and drive to make this happen, and for serving as a model for the rest of the nation."

"We strongly support 100 percent tobacco-free hospital campuses," said Mary Piepenbring, Vice President at the Duke Endowment. "This project has continued to bring real results and serves as a national model. We are proud to be a partner in this important initiative and want to thank NC Prevention Partners and the Hospital Association for their tireless efforts to make this possible."

NC Prevention Partners also announced the approval of an additional $250,000 grant from The Duke Endowment to begin building a tobacco cessation system for N.C. hospitals. Currently, efforts to help patients and employees quit tobacco are fragmented; this system will ensure that every hospital patient and employee who uses tobacco will get help to quit and will serve as a model for hospitals nationwide.

Melva Fager Okun, DrPH, is NC Prevention Partners' Senior Manager of the hospital program. "I am overjoyed that our hospitals have taken the steps to create 100 percent tobacco-free worksites," Dr. Okun said. "They are leaders, blazing the path for hospitals nationwide to follow. For tobacco users, quitting is the single most important thing they can do to improve their health. Creating a robust system to ensure that every patient and employee who uses to tobacco gets help to quit is the right thing to do. We are grateful to continue our work with The Duke Endowment and the NC Hospital Association to improve the health of North Carolinians."

For more information, see web link:
Citizen-Times June 30, 2009


Top ButtonTOP



Funding Opportunities

Conferences and Trainings

Top ButtonTOP

American Cancer Society Legacy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Cancer Institute National Institute on Drug Abuse Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Consumer Demand YTCC The National Partnership for Smoke Free Families