Communiqué #46

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safewaySafeway Pharmacies to Incorporate

Ask-Advise-Refer in over 1,000 pharmacies

by January 2015



Parisa Vatanka, PharmD Pharmacy Strategic Alliances Manager, Safeway




Safeway will be the first community pharmacy chain to incorporate an organization-wide initiative to include brief smoking cessation interventions as a routine component of patient care.  As of January 2015, all Safeway Pharmacies will be engaging in the Ask-Advise-Refer model to identify

and assist individuals who want to stop smoking on their journey to becoming tobacco-free.


Safeway Pharmacy recognizes that just as pharmacists made an important contribution to health promotion and disease prevention through increasing community access to immunizations, pharmacists can now address the number-one preventable cause of morbidity and mortality through smoking cessation advocacy.


In 2013, Safeway partnered with the University of California San Francisco - School of Pharmacy and the California Smokers' Helpline (CSH) to conduct a research study on community pharmacy-based smoking cessation services in 20 pharmacies. During the 12-week study, 15,000 patients were asked about tobacco use, 1,300 individuals were identified as tobacco smokers, 1,200 received smoking cessation counseling, and hundreds of patients were referred to the CSH. (Results from Randomized Trial)


Tobacco status was documented in the pharmacy prescription dispensing system to screen for tobacco smoke drug interactions and to initiate an Ask-Advise-Refer model of care. Pharmacists also assisted in the selection of appropriate smoking cessation medication therapy.  When prescription therapy was deemed appropriate or if a prescription was necessary for over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy insurance coverage, the patient's primary care provider was contacted. Pharmacists provided detailed counseling on proper use of smoking cessation medications and follow up care.  During all encounters, the value of combining behavioral counseling with effective cessation medications was emphasized to promote successful quit attempts.


Safeway identifies the tremendous opportunity for community pharmacy to contribute to public health through smoking cessation advocacy.  In addition to determining and documenting tobacco use status as a routine component of care, working with the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center and others, Safeway is emphasizing smoking cessation in their expanded scope of services offered to patients such as those with behavioral health conditions, addiction/recovery, HIV, and diabetes.  All Safeway pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are now preparing for the nationwide launch of the smoking cessation service - an important contribution to public health.


project_echoProject ECHO: Transforming the Way Medical Knowledge is Shared and Translated into Practice

Project ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) was established in 2003 to improve access to care for people with Hepatitis C (HCV), a chronic viral infection of the liver affecting more than 30,000 New Mexicans. This low-cost, high-impact intervention is accomplished by linking expert inter-disciplinary specialist teams with primary care clinicians through teleECHO clinics. The ECHO model is a guided practice model where the primary care clinician retains responsibility for managing the patient, operating with increasing independence as their skills and self-efficacy grow.


With funding from the SCLC, Project ECHO will expand a special prison peer education program titled, "Prisoner Health is Community Health: The New Mexico Peer Education Project" (NM PEP) to address tobacco use. Various studies estimate that prison populations' smoking and tobacco use is four times greater than the national average and 80% of all incarcerated individuals in United States' prisons and jails report nicotine use.


Peer educators will learn how to identify and reduce risky behaviors, and develop strategies that translate into learning opportunities to help promote harm reduction among their peers. The new funding will also be used to create a 5-7 minute long video which will discuss the various tobacco-related issues within the prison setting and linkages to tobacco cessation resources when returning to the community.


Annually, 700,000 individuals are discharged from state and federal prisons and almost 12 million are discharged from local jails*. The NM PEP model will not only aim to reduce diseases and increase prevention, but to create sustained behavior change post-discharge to lower cases of re-entry to the prison system.


Want to learn more about Project ECHO? Visit their website at


* Data taken from Dr. Chad Morris' SCLC webinar presentation, "Where's the Justice? Tobacco Use and the Incarcerated" (Wednesday, October 8, 2014) and


tips2016 CDC Tips Campaign Recruitment Has Begun

Focus Areas: Mental Health, E-Cigarettes, and the Military

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Office on Smoking and Health is recruiting additional candidates to be considered for an upcoming national tobacco education campaign, Tips From Former Smokers (Tips). Similar to previous campaigns, real people who have had life-changing, smoking-related health problems will be featured. They are conducting a national search to find people with compelling stories who are willing to participate in our campaign.


If you or anyone you know qualifies, contact Mimi Webb Miller Casting by e-mail ( or by phone (toll free) (844) 274-9816. Travel expenses and a stipend will be provided. Please visit the 2016 Tips recruitment website to find out more information. 


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ORHResource Highlights 

Great American Smokeout 2014: The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By quitting - even for one day - smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life - one that can lead to reducing the risk of cancer. Visit the GASO website to find resources to promote this campaign and help smokers quit. 


SCLC Webinar Series: In recognition of November being National Native American Heritage Month, SCLC will be co-hosting the following webinar, "Commercial Tobacco Use and American Indian/Alaska Native People: Implementing Proven or Promising Interventions". CME/CEUs will be offered to all participants during this live session. It will be held on Friday, November 21st at 10am PT/1pm ET.


Legacy - FINISH IT: In December 2013, Monitoring The Future report shows a 9% decline in teen smoking. Youth smoking rates have dropped below 10% to their lowest levels in 22 years. This is outstanding news and a real testament to the continued work and dedication of colleagues and advocates around the country.  We're closer than we've ever been to ending the tobacco epidemic, but we're not finished yet. 


Starting in August 2014, Legacy launched an aggressive campaign with one goal in mind - to finally end youth smoking in the United States for good. To jumpstart additional declines in youth smoking prevalence, Legacy launched a bold new chapter in the evolution of the truth® national youth smoking prevention campaign, designed to reach and empower youth ages 15-21. Through the power of truth, as well as the energy and passion of today's youth, this can be the generation that finally ends smoking. Join the movement at and on truth social platforms Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to learn more as the campaign unfolds. Visit the "Take Action" tab for ways to show your support in the fight to end smoking.

Video: The University of Washington, Seattle Tobacco Studies Program & Community Transformation Partnership created the film, Tobacco Free Campuses: A Learning Experience. This online video series targets college campuses and prevention methods among the young adult community.
Toolkit: The American Lung Association has launched a new online toolkit for the Affordable Care Act, including guidance on coverage of tobacco cessation medications and counseling released by the federal government in May 2014.  The toolkit may be accessed at
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ORHOther Resources

National Behavioral Health Network for Tobacco & Cancer Control (NBHN)
Has your organization joined the NBHN? Click here to gain free access to cancer and tobacco control and prevention resources including toolkits, e-newsletters, webinars and training opportunities, virtual communities, and social media resources. Share what your organization is doing to reduce tobacco use and increase cancer screenings for people with mental illness and addictions on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #BHtheChange


Geographic Health Equity Alliance has Launched A New Website,

The purpose of the alliance is to raise awareness about geographic health disparities related to tobacco and cancer and to support the development, dissemination, and implementation of effective public health practices. This website offers the latest news and information including free resources on cancer, tobacco, and geographic health disparities.


The Cost of Addiction: How Much Is Spent on Cigarette Use?

Calculate the cost of smoking using this online tool from the American Heart Association.


ActionToQuit Network

ActionToQuit, a free tobacco control information service, sends daily communications to tobacco cessation and public health advocates. Join by signing up on the A2Q website.


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. Click here to order.


A New Way to Think About Quitting

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.

RWJF County Health Rankings and Roadmaps 2014

The Rankings offer an easy-to-use snapshot of overall health for nearly every county in the U.S. See where your county ranks.



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Questions or comments on the Communiqué:
Contact Gil Lorenzo