Living up to the state's bigger-and-better reputation, partners at the Texas summit identified 5 baselines and are vigorously pursuing them with corresponding strategy groups. Beginning with dinner on January 31st and all day February 1, 2012 thirty-nine leaders in public health, behavioral health, and tobacco control came together to reduce smoking prevalence among people with behavioral health disorders. The summit was supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (SCLC) as part of the Leadership Academies for Wellness and Smoking Cessation and Texas is the sixth state to participate in this initiative. The purpose of the summit was to design an action plan for Texas to reduce smoking and nicotine addiction among behavioral health consumers and staff, and to create an environment of collaboration and integration among the fields of public health (including tobacco control and prevention), mental health, and substance abuse services.
David Lakey, MD, Commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services, welcomed participants to the summit. He began by acknowledging the attendees, "There are people here who have dedicated their lives to this cause. I thank you and appreciate you so much." He added, "I look forward to working with each of you to address the burden of tobacco in our state, not only in this summit, but in the years to come."
Right after breakfast on February 1st, Philip Huang, MD, Medical Director, Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services, provided opening remarks. He rallied the group, saying, "Be bold in what this action plan is going to be. Don't be afraid to have a high target and to raise the bar."
His call for bold action inspired attendees who adopted these 5 baseline measures:
- The smoking rate among the Texas population with five or more days of poor mental health is 33.7%
- The smoking rate among the Texas population of heavy drinkers is 39.7% and binge drinkers is 32%
- The smoking rate among the Texas youth population is 11%
- The percent of community mental health centers and licensed substance abuse treatment facilities that are estimated to be tobacco free is 10% (Source: Dr. Huang will get data)
- Percent of Smokers in the Texas Medicaid STAR+PLUS Program (Adult recipients) is 30%
- Percentage of patients who were advised to quit smoking by doctor is 68%
- Percentage of doctors who recommended or discussed medication to help smokers quit is 41%
For more information on the Texas Academy action plan, follow the link to the SCLC website: http://smokingcessationleadership.ucsf.edu/LeadershipActivities-TX.htm.
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