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North American Quitline Consortium
April 2010


NAQC Report Finds More Smokers Calling Quitlines But State Budgets Put Progress at Risk
Record numbers of U.S. smokers are turning to telephone quitlines for help in breaking their addiction, but access to this critical service is being put at risk by state budget cuts, according to a report released by the North American Quitline Consortium and other public health organizations. The number of tobacco users calling quitlines increased 116% between 2005 and 2009, according to the report. Despite this increase in demand, total funding for all U.S. quitlines decreased for the first time ever in Fiscal Year 2010.
» read report

NAQC Signs on to Letter Sent to U.S. Department of Health
NAQC joined more than 90 organizations in a letter sent to Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius thanking her for her leadership in helping to make comprehensive health reform a reality. The letter states that meaningful, sustainable public health, wellness, and prevention provisions are the cornerstone in transforming our health system into one that truly promotes health, not just disease treatment.
» read letter

NAQC Membership Drive: Renew Today and Take Advantage of Early-Bird Promotions
NAQC’s membership drive for Fiscal Year 2011 has begun. Renew your membership by May 31, 2010 and take advantage of early-bird renewal promotions. To avoid a lapse in your membership benefits, please submit payment for your dues by July 1, 2010. For convenience, membership dues can now be paid with a check or major credit card (Visa, MC, or AMEX). Contact us if you have questions about membership and the renewal process.
» renew your membership

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Tobacco Control

NIH Announces Ten Awards for Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities
The National Institutes of Health has announced the awarding of 10 new Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities, designed to better understand and address inequities associated with the two leading causes of death in the United States—cancer and heart disease. The program is supported by the NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI); the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). NCI and NHLBI will each contribute $10 million per year in grant funding over the next five years for $100 million in total funding, and OBSSR will provide support for annual meetings.
» learn more

CDC Releases Tobacco Control State Highlights 2010 Report
The CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) released a new report, Tobacco Control State Highlights 2010. The report provides tobacco control programs and decision-makers with state-specific data regarding proven, high-impact tobacco prevention strategies, including: increasing the price of tobacco products; implementing smoke-free policies and norms; reducing tobacco advertising and promotion; controlling access to tobacco products; and promoting and assisting tobacco users to quit.
» read report

Local Smoking Cessation Workshops Coming to Your Communities, Sponsored by Pfizer
Smoking cessation workshops, led by ATTUD certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists, are coming to communities across the country for people who want to learn about quitting smoking. The free, hour-long workshops can accommodate as many as 20 people at a time and include presentations from a former smoker who quit with a prescription treatment option and support. These workshops provide attendees with a non-judgmental environment where they can learn about tools (e.g., plans and treatment options) to help them make a quit attempt.
» list of workshops

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Materials Available to Support Research with Quitlines
NAQC’s Director of Research, Jessie Saul, presented a seminar at the Society for Behavioral Medicine with NAQC members Paula Keller (UW-CTRI), Susan Zbikowski (Free & Clear, Inc.), and Cindy Haugland (National Jewish Health) on April 7, 2010. The seminar focused on the recommended process for conducting research with quitlines, and the potential for working with quitlines to answer questions of interest to both tobacco control and behavioral medicine more generally. Seminar documents available for download include the powerpoint presentation, list of currently funded quitline research projects, list of potential funding opportunities, and a bibliography of recently published quitline-related journal articles. In addition, the presenters collaborated with other NAQC members to create a checklist of discussion items that might be useful to consider before developing a research proposal.
» access seminar documents

Implementing a Fax Referral Program for Quitline Smoking Cessation Services in Urban Health Centers: A Qualitative Study
Cantrell J, Shelley D. BMC Fam Prac. 2009 Dec 17;10:81.
This study examined the systems-level changes needed to implement and sustain a fax referral program in primary care. Three focus groups (n=26) and eight key informant interviews were conducted with staff and physicians at two clinics after a fax referral intervention. Benefits of the fax referral program cited by participants were numerous, but there were many barriers. Barriers included that the process of referring was time-consuming, many patients resist referral, and information and care delivery systems have limitations for referring and tracking smokers. Potential strategies for improving integration included simplifying the referral form, formal assignment of responsibility for referrals, ongoing staff training and patient education. Quitline feedback enhancements would also be useful to compensate for limitations of internal information systems for tracking smokers.

Characteristics and Abstinence Outcomes among Tobacco Quitline Enrollees Using Varenicline or Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Biazzo LL, Froshaug DB, Harwell TS, Beck HN, Haugland C, Campbell SL, Helgerson SD. Nicotine Tob Res. 2010 Apr 8. [Epub ahead of print]
This study examined the characteristics of callers to the Montana quitline selecting varenicline vs. NRT, and evaluated quitting outcomes at 3 and 6 months. Over 6,800 callers were included in the study. Those selecting varenicline had different characteristics than those selecting NRT. Use of varenicline was associated with higher quit rates than use of NRT at 3 and 6 months. Independently, people who used varenicline, were older, were insured, and received a larger number of counseling sessions were more likely to have quit at 3 months. However, only age and a greater number of counseling sessions were independently associated with quitting at 6 months. The authors conclude that the addition of varenicline enhances 3-month quit rates, and that commitment to quit may be the most important predictor of successful quitting.

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Multi-State Collaborative: 2010 Conference Registration Now Open
The Multi-State Collaborative will hold its fourth annual conference, Cessation Policy and Health Systems Change: New Opportunities in a Changing Healthcare Landscape, on October 28 and 29, 2010 at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta, GA. The conference will:
  • Discuss current opportunities (and challenges) to improve cessation benefit coverage and implement systems change
  • Identify strategies to move forward on policy and healthcare system changes
  • Facilitate state-level exchange and sharing of evidence and best practices
Join state tobacco control programs, their partners, experts, and national organizations for strategic discussions on increasing access to effective cessation services. Speakers and national partners will address new directions in healthcare and implications for tobacco cessation and present new results.
» learn more

Paula Keller Joins ClearWay Minnesota
ClearWay Minnesota announced that Paula Keller has accepted the position of Director of Cessation Programs. Keller joins ClearWay Minnesota from the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, where she served as Senior Policy Advisor. Paula has played key roles on national tobacco cessation policy initiatives, including the Subcommittee on Cessation of the Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health and the 2008 U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline Update. In addition, she served as Deputy Director for the Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care Research Grants Program and has served as Co-Investigator and Project Director for numerous other tobacco control policy research projects. As Director of Cessation Programs for ClearWay Minnesota, Keller will lead and administer all aspects of the organization's smoking cessation initiatives, including QUITPLAN Services, policy initiatives, evaluation and strategic planning. Her effective start date will be June 28, 2010.

Center for Tobacco Products Selects Dr. David L. Ashley as First Director for the Office of Science
The Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has selected Dr. David L. Ashley (CAPT, USPHS) as the Center’s first Director for the Office of Science. As the Director of Science, Dr. Ashley will provide leadership and management of many scientific domains including tobacco product science, tobacco product review, epidemiology and metrics, as well as social and behavioral sciences. His leadership, coordination, and support will also be crucial for the scientific activities and advice from the Tobacco Product Scientific Advisory Committee, establishment of tobacco product standards, integration of the public health/population health priority of CTP activities and coordination within the Office of Science.

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Funding for Connections is provided through a contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a grant from the American Cancer Society. We thank them for their support of this publication. Information and links are provided solely as a service to NAQC members and partners and do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by NAQC, nor should any be inferred.
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