108 Agencies Go Tobacco Free: An Interview with King County
One of SAMHSA's original "100 Pioneers for Smoking Cessation" grantees, Washington State's King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division (MHCADSD), has a highly successful and sustainable tobacco treatment program, policy, and community engagement strategy. King County MHCADSD is further supported the initial "100 Pioneers" effort by mandating policies that require implementing the 5 A's into outpatient treatment programs and providing services in a smoke-free environment. These policy changes positively affect the health of 58,000 individuals annually.
All contracted behavioral health agencies and providers in King County, which includes Seattle, are now tobacco-free. The process started in 2008 when Assistant Division Director, Jim Vollendroff (pictured on right), began approaching providers about the importance of becoming smoke-free.
"A key ingredient in our success has been framing tobacco-free living as a social justice issue," said Sherry McCabe, Program Manager at MHCADSD. Putting quitting in this broader context takes away any implied blame for smoking and encourages people to consider their behavior in terms of larger cultural patterns. This commitment to social justice is reflected in King's County's logo which features Martin Luther King.
In time, the successful tobacco-free policy change led to the more formal recognition of the partnerships formed during the initiative. King County Tobacco Treatment Coalition started with 45 "champions" who met downtown to compare notes over food. Meetings have evolved monthly conference calls that support tobacco education, networking, and policy change. The coalition is all-inclusive and welcomes new members.
For more information on King County's tobacco-free initiative, follow this link to register for the upcoming SCLC webinar featuring King County: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/npadjtyoce4j&eom.
Contact Sherry McCabe at email@example.com for more information on participating in the King County Tobacco Treatment Coalition or visit the social network site at http://www.healthykingcounty.org/group/tobacco-treatment-coalition-ttc.
Follow this link to the King County tobacco treatment website: http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/MHSA/Tobacco%20Treatment.aspx
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