Communiqué #33

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Texas Academy for Wellness and Smoking Cessation


TexasTexas Academy for Wellness and Smoking Cessation


Texas DSHS logoLiving 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."


 Texas photos


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:


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NYwinNew York State Agency Wins Award 


Mohawk logo 2

Congratulations to Mohawk Opportunities in New York State. In May Mohawk will be presented with an award from Seaton Health for their accomplishments as a smoke-free agency. New York State held the first Academy for Wellness and Smoking Cessation and this award is a welcome reminder that New York State continues to excel by helping behavioral health facilities become tobacco-free.  


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OthernewsOther Tobacco News


E-cigarette explodes

Within tobacco control there's a growing awareness of the dangers of e-cigarettes; however, the story of a Florida man whose e-cigarette exploded while he was smoking highlights the potential immediate physical dangers of e-cigarettes. The smoker, Tom Holloway, had all of his teeth knocked out, lost part of his tongue, and a fire started in the room where he was smoking. It appears that a faulty battery inside the cigarette was the cause of the explosion. Follow this link to the original ABC news story: 


NAQC logo

NAQC Conference - August 13th and 14th 2012

Registration is now open for the NAQC Conference 2012, Quitline Innovation and Sustainability: Exploring Strategies and Seizing Opportunities in Challenging Times. The conference will take place as an official ancillary meeting to the National Conference on Tobacco or Health. To learn more about the conference objectives, agenda, and registration process please contact NAQC at



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Resource Highlights 


SCLC offers CME/CEU webinar opportunities

For more information visit:


quite now

1-800-QUIT-NOW wallet card

Available through the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, the card is similar in size and feel to a credit card and offers motivational language urging smokers to call the nation's free, effective, tobacco cessation counseling lines.


A New Way to Think About Quitting
About re-learning life without cigarettes, the free
Become an EX plan is based on personal experiences from ex-smokers, as well as the latest scientific research from the experts at Mayo Clinic.

RWJF Tobacco Map

For the first time, policymakers and advocates have access to a nationwide picture of continuing state efforts on key tobacco control policies. The RWJF Tobacco Map uses data from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Americans for Non-Smokers' Rights and is updated as new information becomes available.


Have some news you would like to share?  Send us your updates.


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Smoking Cessation Leadership Center   University of California, San Francisco

Please continue to send us your updates (i.e. newsletter articles, provider trainings, presentations, etc.)
We will collect all the information, share with all partners, and post updates on the SCLC website.

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Questions or comments on the Communiqué:
Contact Margaret Meriwether