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Recent Announcements

  Be sure to check out our Tobacco News Feed -- scroll down to lower right of homepage for current tobacco-related news from various news sources on the World Wide Web


Training Opportunities

The MDQuit Resource Center developed and is disseminating a training program titled, “Breaking the Habit in Behavioral Health (BH2): New Hope for Clients Who Smoke”* for behavioral health providers across Maryland. The scheduled trainings will take place at UMBC South Campus Research & Technology Park,1450 South Rolling Road, Suite 3011, Halethorpe, MD 21227.
Registration is currently underway for these trainings. Please notify us of your interest in attending one of these sessions by sending an email to trainings@mdquit.org.  Our upcoming training schedule is as follows:
Friday, May 22nd—Multiple Session Training (8:30am-4:00pm)
Friday, June 19th—Multiple Session Training (8:30am-4:00pm)
Friday, July 24th— Multiple Session Training (8:30am-4:00pm)
Friday, August 28th— Multiple Session Training (8:30am-4:00pm)

*BH2 is our multiple-session provider training program that includes a 6-hour instructional and hands-on training that can be implemented with behavioral health clients over a minimum of 4 and up to 8 sessions.  Training options include learning about behavioral health smoking risks, beliefs and treatment culture factors impacting implementation of smoking cessation, assessment techniques, and the use of NRT/Pharmacotherapy.  If providers in your agency want to know how to work with individual clients on their smoking by conducting multiple sessions, or could possibly run a multiple session smoking cessation group, BH2 is the training for you!  If you are interested in this training, please send an email to trainings@mdquit.org.   (Maximum of 20 participants.  CEUs awarded (approx. 6 credit hours) to attendees who complete the full training.)

  • JUST ANNOUNCED:  Pregnancy and Tobacco Cessation Help (PATCH) training -- Friday, May 29, 2015 from 8:30 am - 1:00 pm.  Baltimore City Health Department in collaboration with Maryland DHMH will host a PATCH Initiative training at Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Ave., Baltimore, MD 21209.  This is a provider-oriented training on tobacco use and pregnancy, addressing secondhand smoke exposure in the home and pediatric interventions.  CEUs/CMEs -- and lunch! -- will be provided.  RSVP hereFor more info: Sadiya.Muqueeth@BaltimoreCity.gov.
  • The Maryland Tobacco Quitline has a NEW online training to help healthcare providers address tobacco with their patients!  For more information about the training and how to access, please click here
  • ATTENTION MEDICAID PROVIDERS: MDQuit has developed trainings aimed at enhancing health care providers' skills at reaching and intervening with Medicaid enrollees who use tobacco. Check out our new SBIRT Training for Medicaid Providers page for more details!
  • Health Care Providers:  Sign up for an online CME activity highlighting critical content from the Beyond the 5 A's conference.  Learn how to strengthen smoking cessation efforts with your patients. Register to earn 1 AMA PRA (Category 1) credit or 1 Nursing Contact Hour by clicking here

Items of Interest and Upcoming Events

  • PROVIDERS: Have you heard about the NEW PREGNANCY REWARDS PROGRAM through the Maryland Tobacco Quitline?  Extended services continue to include 1)  10 pre and post partum sessions 2)  Free NRT with prescription. Now pregnant smokers can earn up to $90 in gift cards!  Also, providers can take advantage of DHMH's easy to use, brief intervention toolkit by clicking here
  • 2016 “Tips From Former Smokers” Recruitment:  Are you an ex-smoker and want to tell your story?  The CDC is currently recruiting ad participants for its 2016 “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign.  Past stories have inspired hundreds of thousands of people to quit smoking for good.  Go to www.joincdctips.com to find out more.   

  • LEGACY has recently launched “FINISH IT” -- a campaign empowering today’s teenagers to enlist and end youth smoking for good.   This is the same group responsible for “TRUTH,” the successful youth anti-smoking campaign that in part helped lower teen smoking from 23% in 2000 to 9% in 2014.  To learn more please visit thetruth.com and read this featured article in the New York Times.

  • Are you 18-55 years of age and ready to quit smoking?  You may be able to join a research study at NIDA, located on the campus of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.  Click here for details.

  • THANK YOU CVS for implementing your bold move to stop selling tobacco products a month early!  And we love your new social media campaign #OneGoodReason and all the valuable information on the website!

  • FDA proposes to extend its tobacco authority to additional tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah tobacco

Links to Materials

  • The American Lung Association released a new report, State Health Insurance Marketplace Plans: New Opportunities to Help Smokers Quit, reporting that only 17% of marketplace issuers cover all ACA requirements.  Click to download the report and the appendix for state by state information.

  • ATTENTION: Slides and supporting materials from MDQuit's 9th Annual Best Practices Conference are now posted!

  • Materials from our  "Home Policy and Partner Interventions for Smoke-Free Families" and "New Trends in Tobacco Use and Policies on College Campuses" meetings are now available on our Conferences - Event Archives page.  Thanks to all who participated in the events!

  • MDQuit Resource Center Director Dr. DiClemente recently presented at Tuerk Conference on the impact of tobacco use in behavioral health populations.  Click here to see his presentation. 

  • Click here to read Innovation Update --  Dr. DiClemente discusses MDQuit’s work training MCO organizations on the importance of implementing smoking cessation within their practices. 

  • Check out DHMH's captivating Cigar Trap advertisements: CigarTrap, detailing how tobacco companies target youth with cigar flavors such as strawberry, chocolate, and grape.

  • The Surgeon General's 50th Anniversary website features The Health Consequences of Smoking--50 Years of Progress:  A Report of the Surgeon General, 2014 (Executive Summary and Full Report), as well as Fact Sheets, a Consumer Booklet, and a link to the Video and Podcast Series.

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched BeTobaccoFree.gov -- providing the most up-to-date tobacco-related information from across its agencies.  Includes information on federal and state laws and policies, health statistics, and evidence-based methods on how to quit.

  • Wicomico County's Health Department is sharing success stories from its Smoking Cessation Program, and we have posted the video here.

Research Updates

  • According to the recently published National Youth Tobacco Surveys (NYTS), there was no decline in overall tobacco use among middle school and high school students between 2011 and 2014.  However, e-cigarette use tripled, and hookah use nearly doubled over the last year.  Although cigarette and cigar use declined among high school youth and remained unchanged for middle school students, the increases in e-cigarette and hookah use offset these encouraging declines in traditional nicotine use.  CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. commented that parents should know that nicotine consumption is dangerous for kids at any age in any form.  Adolescence is a critical time for brain development, and nicotine exposure can cause lasting harm, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use.  For more information please refer to the CDC's full MMWR Report
  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently released new data in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) which showed smoking rates have dropped in the United States.  According to the 2013 National Health Interview Survey, smoking prevalence has dropped from 20.9% of adults in 2005 to 17.8%—this is the lowest prevalence seen since this data was first recorded in 1965.  Read the full report here.
  • A recent report by Dr. Brian King and colleagues appeared in the October 10, 2014 edition of Nicotine & Tobacco Research highlighting trends in awareness and use of electronic cigarettes.  Awareness and use has increased considerably among U.S. adults between 2010 and 2013.  For more information check out our e-cigarette page here.  

  • The APA's Division 50 The Addiction Newsletter is highlighting the importance of providing smoking cessation during addiction treatment.  Find out much more by linking here and scrolling down to page 15.

  • The 2014 Point-of-Sale Report to the Nation was recently released by researchers at ASPiRE. The report provides information regarding the current state of the retail environment including the density and location of tobacco retailers, industry POS marketing tactics, and the availability of various types of tobacco products.


Maryland Tobacco News

According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, tobacco use among youth in public high schools has decreased by 40% from 2000-2013, showing reduced cigarette use.  Despite this overall trend, use of smokeless tobacco products among this sample has actually increased by 5%. The data indicates that the use of smokeless tobacco by youth is three times greater than adult usage and cigar use is also 2.5 times greater among youth.  There is a strong correlation between the underage use of tobacco and other risky behaviors, such as substance abuse.  While no significant change is evident for youth cigar use overall, there was a notable decrease since cigar use peaked in 2008.  Noted declines are likely influenced by campaigns by the State and National campaigns, prevention programs supported at the local level, regulatory initiatives, and cessation intervention programs like the Maryland Tobacco Quitline.

Beginning in August 2014, the Anne Arundel Medical Center implemented a screening process for new applicants. Applicants would undergo a urine test to check for nicotine levels in their system. The urine test would give the hospital the authority to not hire tobacco users. The center’s vice president, Julie McGovern, stated that the screening was implemented to help promote a healthy lifestyle to the community and their workers.

The town council for Ocean City, Maryland proposed legislation at the end of August 2014 to regulate smoking on the beach and boardwalk.  By including designated areas that will allow smoking, the beach and boardwalk will not be completely smoke-free. The regulations are specific to tobacco products, not to increasingly popular e-cigarettes. The push for the law comes from the desire to make the beach more appealing to tourists while also addressing the negative ramifications of second hand smoke.  Planned implementation is set for May 1, 2015 and support is gaining from the local and tourist populations as well as some lawmakers.  The legislation will require $17,000 to $20,000 to set up metal receptacles at beach entry points, where smoking is restricted to a 50-foot radius around these large metal cans.  Violations of the new restrictions include a fine ranging from $25 to $1,000. While there is strong support for this legislation, there are also those that believe the law does not go far enough and may be a lost cause when it comes to improving attraction to the beach itself.

National Tobacco News

The American Lung Association (ALA) released a report which outlines the coverage for smoking cessation medications for the health insurance exchanges in each state.  The report determined that the majority of plans do not comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements for smoking cessation aid coverage.  Only 17% of plans cover all 7 of the smoking cessation medications without cost-sharing or prior authorization.  Read ALA's report here or read the appendix which outlines coverage by state.

According to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, smoking cessation does not counteract and can possibly help recover from mood and anxiety disorders and substance use disorders. A sample of 5,000 daily smokers, with past history of drug use disorder, alcohol use disorder or mood and anxiety disorder, completed the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, and were interviewed again 3 years later. It was found that at follow-up, about 60% had reduced smoking and 19% were abstinent. Individuals who quit were less likely to have a relapse of their behavioral health condition. Although it cannot be inferred that cessation will decrease risks, it can be said that cessation is consistent with recovery from these behavioral health conditions. 

Safeway, a supermarket and pharmacy chain, has taken an initiative to utilize routine smoking cessation interventions for people who want to quit smoking.  Using the Ask-Advise-Refer model, pharmacists will advocate smoking cessation by assessing tobacco status and advising treatment and referrals for follow up care among identified tobacco users.  In order to optimize quitting efforts, the pharmacists will encourage combining behavioral therapies with pharmacological therapies. Safeway will be broadening their services to diabetics, persons living with HIV/AIDS, and patients with psychological conditions. Beginning January 2015, Safeway will contribute to public health by taking action for promoting smoking cessation.