About 18% of the U.S. adult population identify as smokers. In Texas, approximately 4.38 million residents – or 15.5% of Texans – identify as smokers. Providing vibrant, state-of-the-art, smoking cessation services to all UT employees and students system-wide offers an opportunity to serve the 68% (national average) of those active smokers who are ready to quit.
Healthcare Provider Trainings
In July 2017, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was accredited by the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs (CTTTP) and the Association for Tobacco Treatment Use and Dependence (ATTUD) to offer their own Certified Tobacco Treatment Training Program. Between August 2017 and March 2018, MD Anderson trained nearly 100 health care providers (mainly comprised of counselors, prescribers and health educators) in evidence-based tobacco treatment practices. Future goals include taking the training program on the road to different sites in Texas and surrounding states to better meet the needs of health care providers. A national credentialing is an available option to participants who attend the training course.
Community Support Groups
UT Dallas had five employees trained as American Lung Association Freedom From Smoking facilitators for an 8-week class offered to faculty, staff and students. The tobacco-free homepage now includes this resource. UT Arlington trained six tobacco- free ambassadors to administer the American Cancer Society’s Fresh Start Program. The task force hopes to train more ambassadors in the spring and in the coming school year.
On Campus Programs
The UT Austin tobacco-free coalition continues to partner with University Health Services to offer a quitters cessation course to students. The coalition is seeking new partnerships with Dell Medical School and the School of Nursing to secure tobacco cessation courses for faculty and staff members. UT Rio Grande Valley created tobacco cessation informational care cards for students, staff and faculty that highlighted services available in the recovery center.
Cessation in the Community
The UT Health San Antonio Eliminate Tobacco Use Committee planned an event for the first days of the Spring 2018 semester. The team assembled quit kits (called UT Healthier You kits in keeping with institutional branding) using several items used as cessation aid tools (e.g. chewing gum). Those kits were handed out in January 2018, as a prompt or incentive for tobacco users to quit. The event was promoted via Twitter, the institutional intranet and its weekly newsletter. Faculty, staff and students were able to pick up a kit for themselves or for a friend or family member they wanted to encourage to stop using tobacco. UTHSA hopes to increase the utilization rate of the available cessation resources in the 2018-19 school year.
UT Southwestern increased awareness of its nicotine cessation program- ming through social media campaigns and internal marketing. They are working to create an automated Electronic Medical Records platform to refer patients to tobacco cessation programming through a “smoking registry.”
The UT Southwestern Low Dose Lung Cancer Screening service works closely with UT Southwestern’s Nicotine Cessation program to ensure comprehensive pulmonary care. A “navigator” for this program was recently hired. The intent is to coordinate comprehensive patient care opportunities to identify, support, screen, refer and provide smoking cessation services where appropriate. This will enhance patient opportunities to prevent or detect early any lung cancer concerns.
Tobacco Treatment Training Program
Between August 2017 and March 2018, MD Anderson trained nearly 100 health care providers in evidence-based tobacco treatment practice.
UT Healthier You
At UT Health San antonio, over 100 kits were handed out to friends, family or physicians/health practitioners who wanted to give it to a specific patient they wanted to encourage to quit tobacco.