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Briefings | ActionToQuit – Advancing Tobacco Control Policy

Obtener Adobe Flash Player

(Access to Coverage of Tobacco Treatment In Our Nation)

Partnership for Prevention

Shaping Policies | Improving Health


State and City News

(Full monthly briefing)

July 28, 2010

University of Arizona Providing Cessation Training for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Professionals

The University of Arizona Department of Family and Community Medicine will be using a $3.1 million grant to develop tobacco cessation training specifically for chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists. The lead researcher for the project notes that “tobacco use has been linked with chronic pain, problems with healing and a host of other serious health conditions. Practitioners can talk with patients/clients about how quitting can improve their health and treatment, with the emphasis on health and wellness that complementary and integrative practitioners are known for.”

Over the next five years, the study will work with local chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists and their office staff to evaluate ways they can best help their patients quit tobacco. Many practitioners of complementary and integrative medicine offer preventive health and wellness services in addition to therapeutic services. By encouraging their patients and clients to quit tobacco, these practitioners can play an even greater role in helping people lead healthier lives.

The research project was developed after a survey of licensed acupuncturists, chiropractors and massage therapists in Tucson found that sixty-four percent of the practitioners had no training in helping people quit tobacco and 66 percent were interested in receiving such training.

South Dakota Smoking Down to 17.5 Percent

Education targeted at youth and an increased awareness of available programs, such as the South Dakota QuitLine, have helped to reduce the number of smokers in South Dakota to an all-time low of 17.5 percent, according to a recent release from the state Department Of Health.

The Department of Health reports that the South Dakota QuitLine’s success rate increased significantly from 29 percent in 2007 to 43 percent in 2008. A quit attempt is considered successful once 12 months have passed without tobacco use. In comparison, only about 5 percent of people who quit on their own are still abstinent a year later.  More than 54,000 South Dakotans have called the QuitLine for help since it launched in 2002.

The adult smoking rate in South Dakota has dropped more than 21.5 percent since the Department became the lead agency for state tobacco control efforts in 2001. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are now at least 38,600 fewer people smoking in South Dakota and an estimated 1,836 people will be spared early, tobacco-related deaths. The decline translates into at least $65 million in healthcare cost savings through 2011 and at least $325 million in healthcare cost savings through 2018, assuming healthcare costs and smoking rates stay at their current levels.

Los Angeles County Report Shows Smoking Rates by Local Community

A new report that breaks down adult cigarette smoking rates by geographical area in Los Angeles County finds there are great disparities between cities/communities when it comes to tobacco use. The report, titled “Cigarette Smoking in Los Angeles County: Local Data to Inform Tobacco Policy,” is intended help policy makers in local cities and communities target appropriate tobacco control policies and develop support for these policies and programs.

The overall county smoking prevalence is 14% and this rate has been steady since 2002.
This report is the first to break down smoking rates in the county along geographic and demographic lines.  It found that adult males smoke more than females (19% vs 10).  African Americans had the highest rate at 25%, while other groups—whites, Latinos, and Asian/Pacific Islanders—smoked at between 11 and 15%.

The rates also varied geographically, ranging from a low of 5.3% to a high of 21.9%—a four fold difference.  The researchers don’t completely understand why there are geographical disparities, although differences in race and ethnicity, income, and education levels may play a role.

As the report notes, the 47 cities and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which governs the unincorporated areas of the county, have enacted tobacco control policies. However, the report includes recommendations for additional city level and community level tobacco control policies to help reduce adult smoking.  These include recommendations to:
• Reduce exposure to second hand smoke by restricting smoking in multi-unit housing and in outdoor public places.
• Reduce youth access to tobacco products by requiring licensing for tobacco retailers and restricting sales of tobacco products near schools and parks.
• Promote smoking cessation and prevent smoking initiation by requiring retailers to post health warning and smoking cessation information.
• Implement a cigarette litter (butts) mitigation fee to reduce tobacco use.

The report also calls for strict enforcement of existing policies and efforts to increase smokers’ access to and utilization of effective smoking cessation treatments.

St. Louis County Using $7.6 Million for Tobacco Control Projects

St. Louis County, Missouri is planning to use its $7.6 million federal stimulus grant for the best-financed anti-smoking effort to date in the St. Louis area. The money, to be spent over two years, is about equal to what is now spent statewide from state and federal sources.

The first target will be schools, colleges and universities in the county, which officials aim to make smoke-free by February 2012.  Some already ban smoking on their campuses, but some still allow smoking outside. According to a county health department spokesman, “The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) ranks clean-air policies by different categories. We’re shooting for the gold standard — an indoor and outdoor tobacco-free policy.”

The county health department received the only Department of Health and Human Services grant made in Missouri. The project sets a goal of persuading the County Council by January 2012 to extend its smoking ban to all workplaces, restaurants and bars.  The current ban takes effect Jan. 2 but exempts existing “drinking establishments” whose income from food is 25 percent or less of gross income, and the gambling floors at casinos.  In addition, the project sets a goal of persuading at least two additional municipalities to adopt smoking bans more restrictive than the county’s. Three jurisdictions currently have such measures.

The grant will be allocated for a media campaign targeting smoking, outreach projects in individual communities, salaries and benefits for nine new hires for one year, the Center for Tobacco Policy Research of Washington University and the St. Louis University public health school to evaluate the project and identify best practices that other communities can use, and Tobacco Free St. Louis to help its advocacy efforts and to offset its loss of a state grant.

La Porte, Indiana Offers Tobacco Quitline for Workers

The La Porte Indiana Board of Public Works has voted to sign up for the state’s smoking cessation program, the Indiana Tobacco Quitline.   The quitline offers smokers the opportunity to speak with a professional about developing a personalized “quit plan.”  This makes the city a “preferred employer,” meaning it would receive materials such as handbooks, posters and brochures that encourage employees and others to quit smoking and call the hotline for help.

Human Resources Director Matt Cook said, “It improves the quality of life for our employees and it saves us money through health insurance costs so it’s a win win situation.”


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