Communiqué #34

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Arkansas Academy for Wellness and Smoking Cessation


HHS/CDC's Tobacco Education Campaign


Other Tobacco News

ARArkansas Academy for Wellness and Smoking Cessation


A determined and slightly damp group of partners ventured through rain and flooding in Arkansas to attend the 7th Leadership Academy for Wellness and Smoking Cessation in Little Rock. Fondly known as the "Natural State," Arkansas selected data on adult cigarette smoking prevalence, adult smokeless tobacco use, current cigarette smoking among high school students, and current smokeless tobacco use among high school students, as baselines.


Beginning with dinner on March 20th and all the following day, thirty-four leaders in public health, behavioral health, and tobacco control met 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). The purpose of the summit was to design an action plan for Arkansas to reduce smoking and tobacco dependence among behavioral health populations, 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.


Planning committee member, Dr. Larry Miller, pointed out the need for tobacco treatment in behavioral health, "Smoking cessation is a very significant issue as we embrace recovery. Forty-four percent of all cigarettes are consumed by our patients with serious mental illness. These same persons die 25 years younger than their normal cohorts not from their mental illness but from the physical co-morbidities--strokes, heart attacks, hypertension, cancer...all related to smoking!"


John Selig, Director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services, welcomed participants to the summit. He began by acknowledging the dedication of the participants, "This group is the right group to get something done." And he went on to assert, "This summit is a call to action-we are not here just to listen; we are here to work."


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Arkansas lived up to its earlier identity as the "Land of Opportunity" by taking advantage of the summit and identifying 5 strategies to reach the targets. The strategy groups include: data development, provider policy, state wide policy, collaborations, and provider education.


The collaborative attitude that prevailed at the summit was summed up by Paul Halverson, Director of the Arkansas Department of Health and longtime tobacco control advocate, "Every time we work together, every time we come together in Arkansas, I'm amazed at what we can do."


For more information on the Arkansas Academy action plan, follow the link to the SCLC website:


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HHS_CDCHHS/CDC's National Tobacco Education Campaign


HHS_CDC logoThe HHS/CDC's National Tobacco Education Campaign, Tips from Former Smokers, will advance cessation in two important ways, according to Linda A. Bailey, President and CEO, North American Quitline Consortium. First, it will motivate smokers to quit. Second, it will link them with resources that make their quit attempts more successful.


As the hard-hitting ads from the HHS/CDC campaign show, many smokers live with diseases that have a devastating impact on their lives. The list includes diseases such as lung cancer, Buerger's disease, head and neck cancer, asthma, stroke, and heart disease. The life-changing impact of these diseases include such things as lung removal; amputation of legs, feet and fingers; tracheotomy and feeding tubes; open heart surgery; paralysis; asthma attacks and lifelong medication regimes.


The HHS/CDC campaign aims not only to build public awareness of the health impact caused by tobacco smoke and to encourage smokers not to smoke around others (especially children), but also to encourage smokers to quit and to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (or visit for free help in quitting.. A snapshot of the services available in each state is shown on the map at


During this 12-week campaign the federal government will invest a little more than the tobacco industry's marketing investment for a single day (i.e., $29 million).  


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OthernewsOther Tobacco News


How Healthy is Your County?


More than 3,000 counties and the District of Columbia can compare how healthy their residents are and how long they live with the 2012 County Health Rankings, an annual check-up that highlights the healthiest and least healthy counties in every state.


Released at by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the rankings assess the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states based on key factors that influence health, such as education rates, smoking status, income levels, and access to healthy foods and medical care. This year's rankings include several new measures, such as how many fast-food restaurants are in a county and levels of physical inactivity among residents. Graphs illustrating premature death trends over 10 years are new as well.


Also new this year, the County Health Roadmaps will help counties to mobilize and take action to create healthier places to live, learn, work and play. This also marks the release of the call for applications for the Roadmaps to Health Prize that recognizes the efforts and accomplishments of communities in the U.S. working at the forefront of better health for all residents.



Los Angeles Conference on Tobacco and Behavioral Health

Congratulations to Project TRUST and the Los Angeles Department of Public Health for hosting the groundbreaking, CDC-sponsored conference on tobacco and behavioral health, Living Well: Strategies for Tobacco Free Recovery. Attendees came from across the nation and Hawaii to hear speakers on a wide range of topics from denormalizing tobacco use in addiction services to tobacco use among homeless populations. For more information about the conference agenda follow this link:



NAQC Conference - August 13th and 14thNAQC logo

Registration is now open for the 2012 NAQC Conference, 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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 positively no smoking sign












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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