Tobacco Prevention & Control Update

In This Issue
NACCHO Funding Opportunity- Deadline March 11
HHS Releases Final Rule on Essential Health Benefits
CDC Vital Signs: Smoking and Mental Illness
Tobacco Tax Bill Introduced
Kick Butts Day is March 20, 2013
Connect with the Tobacco Prevention and Control Team
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NACCHO Funding Opportunity- Deadline March 11
NACCHO invites local health departments (LHDs) to submit applications to participate in the Winnable Battles Collaboration Project, which aims to foster collaboration between maternal, child, and adolescent health and chronic disease prevention staff. The project will enhance LHD capacity to support the CDC Winnable Battles related to tobacco and obesity prevention. The tobacco focus area is tobacco prevention in adolescents through restricting access to tobacco products. Click here to download the Request for Applications. Applications are due Monday, March 11, 2013 at 11:59 PM PST. 

HHS Releases Final Rule on Essential Health Benefits 

On February 20, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final rule defining essential health benefits in health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. The provision requires non-grandfathered health plans in the individual and small group market to cover 10 categories of essential health benefits, which now includes mental health and substance abuse disorder benefits, such as tobacco cessation treatment. The requirement is intended both to ensure that consumers in these markets have adequate coverage and to improve competition among health plans by standardizing coverage choices. A fact sheet on the rule is available here. Please visit the American Lung Association's toolkit for other valuable resources about tobacco cessation benefits required under the Affordable Care Act.

CDC Vital Signs: Smoking and Mental Illness
The CDC Vital Signs February issue on
Smoking and Mental Illness finds that current smoking among U.S. adults with mental illness is 70 percent higher than smoking among adults with no mental illness. The issue highlights what can be done at the federal, state, and local levels to promote collaboration among the mental health and tobacco control community and ensure that those with mental illness get the support they need to quit smoking.

Tobacco Tax Bill Introduced
On January 31, Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have introduced the Tobacco Tax Equity Act to tax tobacco products not currently covered by cigarette taxes at the same rate as cigarettes, such as cigars, smokeless tobacco, and pipe tobacco. This legislation would bring in $3.6 billion over 10 years to put toward deficit reduction. 
Kick Butts Day is March 20, 2013
Mark your calendars: March 20 is Kick Butts Day, a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up, and seize control against Big Tobacco. Your health department can use the day to organize events to raise awareness of the tobacco problem, encourage youth to stay tobacco-free, and urge strong action to protect kids from tobacco. For more information from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids on how to plan your Kick Butts Day activities, click here
Connect with the Tobacco Prevention and Control Team 
NACCHO welcomes requests from any local health department for tobacco prevention planning and technical assistance. Please send your request to Amy Henes. Find resources, policy statements, news, and more on NACCHO's Tobacco webpage.