Communiqué #50  


policyFive New States, Five New Action Plans: Second Annual SAMHSA Policy Academy


The second annual SAMHSA Policy Academy co-hosted by SCLC, took place on June 18th and 19th at SAMHSA's headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. Those selected to attend are the leaders and specialists in the field of tobacco control and behavioral health representing Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, Ohio and Wyoming. The Policy Academy provides an environment for participants to learn from public health officials, provide statewide collaboration, discuss strategies led by a trained results-based accountability facilitator, and ultimately for each state to develop a customized action plan tailored to their state tobacco and behavioral health data in preparation to convene a local State Leadership Academy for Wellness and Smoking Cessation.


A distinguished panel of speakers included Wilson Compton, MD, MPE, Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Simon McNabb, Senior Policy Advisor from the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Shelina Foderingham, MPH, MSW, Director of Practice Improvement from the National Council for Behavioral Health presented on an array of topics from e-cigarettes, epidemiology of tobacco use, co-morbidities, policy and practice, socioeconomics of tobacco use, mental health and substance abuse, and funding strategies.


In a letter addressed to the state representatives at the Policy Academy, acting Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, mentioned, "It is alarming that, despite declining tobacco use in the overall U.S population, smoking prevalence for adults with mental illness or substance use disorders has not changed significantly over the last couple of decades. We cannot be complacent when we hear that nearly three out of four people ages 12 and older who received substance abuse treatment at a specialty facility in the past year reported smoking cigarettes in the past month. We can change this."

Along with creating new relationships and coalitions, the five states left with an action plan and potential tools to create or build upon existing tobacco control and behavioral health initiatives within their states.
The Policy Academy helped catalyze communication between state departments and advocates, and each learned to be successful in the implementation of organizing local efforts to help individuals with mental illness and addictions live longer, healthier lives.

2015 Policy Academy participants view national and state data
on tobacco use in the behavioral health population
Read the complete action plan [PDF]. 


maCongratulations to Massachusetts for Hosting its Leadership Academy Focused on Tobacco-free Recovery in the Behavioral Health Population  
Massachusetts planning team:  
Anna Landau, MPH, Ken Mayer,  
Kathy Sanders, MD, and Dan Breslin, MD  

On June 16th, forty-eight leaders and advocates in public health, behavioral health, and tobacco control came together for a first-ever initiative focused on reducing smoking prevalence among people with behavioral health disorders (mental illness and addictions) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


The summit was held by the Massachusetts Departments of Mental Health and Public Health, in partnership with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (SCLC), continuing work from the SAMHSA 2014 State Policy Academy on Tobacco Control in Behavioral Health.


The purpose of the summit was to design an action plan for Massachusetts to reduce smoking and nicotine addiction among individuals with mental illness and addictions, 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. Participants represented state, and local agencies, including tobacco control, mental health, addictions, consumers, insurance, community services, non-profit, and academic organizations. 


The partners agreed on a 20% reduction in smoking rates for those with Poor Mental Health, and a 20% reduction in smoking rates for those with Substance Use Disorders, each by 2020. The action plan created included the following strategy committees: Organizational Change through Education and Training, Payers, Peer Workforce, Policy & Legislation, and Data.


Read the complete action plan [PDF] and learn more about the Leadership Academies





Legacy logo Apply now for Legacy's Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Community College Grant Initiative

The deadline has been extended to 8/21/15. Grants of up to $5,000/year are still available to public community colleges across the country to support efforts to advocate for, adopt, and implement a 100% smoke-free or 100% tobacco-free policy. For more information and to apply, visit:


National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month  

"Women who smoke during early pregnancy are more likely to deliver babies with cleft lip and/or cleft palate, where the lip or roof of the mouth fails to form correctly.  Babies born with cleft lip and/or cleft palate have problems with feeding, hearing, and speech development, and these conditions require surgery." - Surgeon General's Report


See resources below from the CDC to promote being smoke-free during pregnancy for National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention month:


Also, the recording of our webinar, "Tobacco Cessation for Pregnant Women and Mothers: What Clinicians Should Know" and other archived webinars are available on our website:



The National Conference on Tackling Tobacco Use in Vulnerable Populations 
This conference is October 5 - 6, 2015 in Bethesda, Maryland and will highlight the challenges, opportunities and strategies for addressing tobacco use among various vulnerable and high-risk populations, including people with mental illness, substance use problems, youth, pregnant women and mothers, people of low socioeconomic status, and the LGBT community.  For more information and to register, visit:


The Future of Quitlines: Refining and Redefining Our Practices for Success! 
The NAQC conference is taking place on August 17 - 18 in Atlanta, GA. Registration deadline is August 10.
For the preliminary agenda and to register, visit: 


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tools-resourcesTools & Resources


NEW: UC Riverside AIR Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus Training Module  
The University of California, Riverside has developed a UC "AIR" (Approach, Inform & Refer) Smoke & Tobacco Free Campus Training module, which is now available for you to view and disseminate among colleagues.  Objectives of the module include: Provide a basic understanding of the "AIR" approach; offer suggestions and tools on how to approach and communicate with a smoker; provide an opportunity for practicing these strategies.

MORE PROGRESS TO FINISH IT - Two new videos from truth® debuted recently as part of the "Progress Reports" series in the Finish It campaign. One video applauds Syracuse University, which officially became a tobacco-free campus on July 1. To build on progress at Syracuse and elsewhere truth has created an online petition. Finishers can sign the petition to spur other colleges and universities to adopt tobacco-free policies. The second video  highlights a policy at the nation's second largest tobacco company banning smoking in its office buildings.


New Online Video From the Surgeon General, "The Next 50 Years"
This video can
help you raise awareness and draw attention to the important work that remains to be done in tobacco control. View it here. 

The Behavioral Health and Wellness Program Has Released a New Toolkit 
DIMENSIONS: Peer Support Program Toolkit
This toolkit contains evidence-based information about the effectiveness of peer support programs, the important role peers can plan in an organization as well as step-by-step instructions to create a successful and sustainable peer support program. Use the worksheets contained within this toolkit to support your organization's process as you develop and implement your peer support program.


Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI)
CDC released the updated CHSI online tool that produces public health profiles for all 3,143 counties in the United States. Each profile includes key indicators of health outcomes, which describes the population health status of a county and factors that have the potential to influence health outcomes, such as health care access and quality, health behaviors, social factors, and the physical environment.
To access CHSI, visit 


2015 CDC Tips from Former Smokers Campaign

The CDC has continued its Tips From Former Smokers campaign this year by expanding its efforts to engage faith leaders and organizations, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and other healthcare providers and specialists. Access the Tips Download Center, where you can download presentation materials, images, PSA files, and print materials that can be disseminated to extend the reach of the campaign. The 2015 campaign is scheduled to begin running nationally on March 30th and end on August 16th. 


National Behavioral Health Network for Tobacco & Cancer Control (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


1-800-QUIT-NOW Wallet Cardquite now 

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.



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