On Great American Smokeout Day (Nov. 16), the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement at CAI Says Health Care Providers Are Key to Success in Quitting

Also in late November, Tobacco Companies Will Finally Run TV, Newspapers Ads Taking Full Responsibility of Their Lethal Products  

New York, N.Y. - Today, in observance of the Great American Smokeout, the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) urges smokers throughout New York State to plan to quit smoking by contacting their health care providers, who will provide them the greatest chance for success in quitting. COE for HSI works with medical and behavioral health systems throughout New York State to establish system wide policies to screen for and treat tobacco dependence.  

“The Great American Smokeout Campaign supports our efforts to improve health systems by fully integrating tobacco screening and treatment into standard care delivery at healthcare organizations statewide,” stated COE for HSI Project Director, Michael Graziano. “We continue to believe that health care providers are one of the greatest supports to those who want to quit smoking.”

In addition to their current work as the COE for HSI, CAI served as the tobacco control training center for New York State for ten years —delivering customized trainings to Regional Grantees of the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control. In a state where more than 28,000 adults die every year due to smoking, CAI trainings have helped New York achieve its goal of reducing the prevalence of cigarette use among adults and adolescents.

An added reason to celebrate the Great American Smokeout is that it takes place the same month as tobacco companies gear up to launch a court mandated ad campaign finally telling the truth about their deadly and addictive products after lying to the American public for decades about the dangers of smoking. The first ads will appear in dozens of major newspapers around the nation on Sunday, November 26 and the first television ads will appear a week later.

For more than 11 years, the tobacco companies have sought to weaken and delay the corrective ad campaign ordered by the court. These ads contain statements about the health dangers of smoking that stem from a landmark lawsuit filed by the U.S Justice Department in 1999 and a landmark judgment issued in 2006 by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler. Judge Kessler found the tobacco companies guilty of civil racketeering laws and lying about the negative health effects of smoking and their marketing to children.

 

For more information on CAI’s products and services, please contact Michael Graziano, Project Director for Health Systems Improvement (HSI) at mgraziano@caiglobal.org or (212) 594-7741 X 226.

HOPE BUFFALO EXTENDS ITS COMMITMENT TO THE CITY OF BUFFALO

CDC funds new initiative to address youth sexually transmitted disease rate disparities in Erie County

Erie County, NY— In the face of national cuts to adolescent health funding, HOPE Buffalo, one of the Erie County Department of Health’s (ECDOH) and CAI’s teen pregnancy prevention projects, has been successful in securing a federal grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for almost $1 million over three years for the Community Approaches to Reducing STDs (CARS) initiative. This initiative aims to implement evidence-based strategies to reduce disparities in STD rates among African American and LGBTQI adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24.

Effective September 30, 2017, the CARS team began working as part of HOPE Buffalo’s Community Action Team (CAT) to engage community-members, stakeholders, and youth.  Adapting HOPE Buffalo’s community mobilization model, community members, youth and stakeholders will work together to identify what is contributing to disparities in rates of STDs as well as take part in developing and implementing solutions. CAI will serve as the backbone organization in partnership with ECDOH to resource and coordinate all initiative activities. 

This effort will include embedding a Social Determinants of Health Fellow within ECDOH to work closely with Health Commissioner, Gale Burstein MD, MPH and her team.

“This award would not have been possible without the support of the HOPE Buffalo community,” said Stan Martin, Project Director of HOPE Buffalo. “As a result, we are able to address the social determinants of health and reduce health disparities amongst those with some of the greatest needs.” 

HOPE Buffalo’s community partners, among other supportive CAT members to date include:

  • ECDSS-Adoption and Family Services
  • Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers
  • Buffalo Public School District
  • Buffalo Police Athletic League, Inc.
  • City of Buffalo, Department of Community Services and Recreation
  • Evergreen Health
  • Greater Buffalo United Ministries
  • Kaleida School Based Health Center
  • Kaleida Health
  • Millennium Collaborative Care
  • Neuwater Associates LLC
  • Ss Columba-Brigid
  • United Way of Buffalo and Erie County

For more information or if you would like to join the CARS effort, send an e-mail message to smartin@caiglobal.org.  You can also visit the HOPE Buffalo website at www.hopebuffalo.org to take the pledge for healthy teens.

HOPE Buffalo Hosts Press Conference

Federal Funding Cuts To Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Hits Home

Erie County, NY - On August 17, 2017, HOPE Buffalo hosted a press conference to discuss the current administration's decision to cut funding to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) by two years.
HOPE Buffalo, a project of CAI, in partnership with the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH), was initially awarded a $10 million grant over five years (2015-2020), but is now only guaranteed funding until June of 2018. Both HOPE Buffalo and the ECDOH are committed to raising healthy children and sustaining the youth and community led collaboration beyond the 2018 date. 
The strategies they seek to implement are replicating the Evidence Based Interventions (EBIs)—proven to reduce teen pregnancy—and continue utilizing science and data to reach well-informed decisions about comprehensive adolescent health and wellness. The goal remains to reduce teen pregnancy by 30% by 2020 in nine selected Buffalo City zip codes with the highest teen pregnancy rates and will require more support from the community, including the public and private sector.  
Key topics that were addressed included: 

  • What is HOPE Buffalo?
  • What is the Plan?
  • The Youth Voice
  • Next Steps to Move Forward 

“The driving force behind our work is the data,” said HOPE Buffalo’s Project Director, Stan Martin in the last Community Action Team (CAT) meeting.
“We have talked about sustainability since day one,” he said. “We put action behind our words where schools, communities and healthcare providers are all involved. We want to prepare ourselves for beyond 2018 and 2020.” 

To learn more about HOPE Buffalo, please click here.

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THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT CALLS FOR SMOKE-FREE PUBLIC HOUSING

Proposed rule aims to reduce public housing residents' exposure to second-hand smoke, as well as reduce smoke-related maintenance costs and fire risk

New York, NY – Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrates that secondhand smoke is an extremely prevalent problem in multi-unit housing. According to their July 2016 press release, tobacco smoke often travels from smokers’ units into those of non-smokers, as well as common areas such as hallways and lobbies. This puts all residents, especially children, at risk of exposure. According to U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke, and second-hand exposure to children can have devastating consequences, ranging from asthma to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

 In an effort to address this issue, approximately 600 of the nation’s 3,300 public housing authorities (PHAs) have made at least one of their buildings smoke-free. While this is a solid foundation to build upon for a completely smoke-free public housing environment, much of the country’s public housing remains largely unregulated. 

 On November 30th, 2016, Secretary Julián Castro of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that a new rule had been implemented requiring all PHAs to now provide smoke-free environments for their residents within the following 18 months. Throughout the year, HUD has worked with PHAs, housing and health partners, and tenant advocates to create a final rule which prohibits combustible tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes in all public housing properties, as well as all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings. This rule was created based out of the need to provide safe, smoke-free homes for children living in public housing units. Out of 2 million residents living in public housing, there are more than 760,000 children under the age of 18.

HUD’s smoke-free rule is not only expected to dramatically reduce second-hand smoke exposure, but decrease smoke-related maintenance and repair costs for PHAs as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this rule will save agencies up to $153 million every year, including $94 million in health care costs, $43 million in renovation of smoking-permitted units, and $16 million in smoke-related fire reparations. 

“Exposure to secondhand smoke can mean the difference between a healthy childhood, and one spent taking recurrent trips to an emergency room to receive treatment for smoke-related health issues.” said Dawn Middleton, Project Director of the COE for HSI. “HUD’s new rule for smoke-free public housing would ensure that future generations can live healthier lives, free from the devastating consequences of secondhand smoke.”

For more information about the work of the COE for HSI, visit www.tobaccofreeny.org

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. Since 1979, CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in more than 27 countries and in all 50 states. Offering more than 1,500 training programs annually, CAI’s passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world. For more information about CAI, visit our website: www.caiglobal.org.

About the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement: With funding from the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control, CAI serves as the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free New York. The COE for HSI promotes large-scale systems and policy changes to support the universal provision of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment services. The COE for HSI aims to support 10 regional contractors throughout New York State working with health care systems and organizations that serve those populations for which tobacco use prevalence rates have not decreased in recent years - adults with low incomes, less than a high school diploma, and/or serious mental illness. Focused on providing capacity-building assistance services around topics like how to engage and obtain buy-in from leadership to implement the kinds of systems-level changes that will result in identification and intervention with every tobacco user who seeks care, the COE for HSI also will offer materials and resources to support contractors in their regional work. For more information, visit www.tobaccofreeny.org.

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THE TOBACCO 21 LEGISLATION IS PROJECTED TO REDUCE SMOKING-RELATED DISEASES AND HEALTH CARE COSTS

Preventing early access to tobacco could reduce initiation and addiction to nicotine, subsequently saving billions in tobacco-related costs

New York, NY – The vast majority of adult tobacco users reportedly started for the first time in their early adolescent years. Throughout adolescence, brain development is an enduring process, making these youth particularly susceptible to the effects of nicotine. There is little doubt that peer pressure among fellow teens plays a large part in early exposure to tobacco. However, an equally large part is due to the shocking ease of access for young, vulnerable teens to obtain tobacco products.

According to a research study led by Dr. Joseph DiFranza, MD, of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts, 89% of youths within 10 Massachusetts communities buy their cigarettes from a store. Tobacco 21 is a legislation that aims to combat these trends, and reduce the risk of teens and young adults developing an addiction to tobacco by raising the minimum legal age of sale (MLA) to 21. As reported by the United States Institute of Medicine (IOM), raising the MLA from 18 to 21 years would lead to a projected decrease in initiation among adolescent youth, resulting in lowered tobacco-related morbidity and mortality rates. Not only does the Tobacco 21 legislation prevent individuals ages 18-20 from purchasing tobacco products, but it may potentially reduce cigarette exposure to those under age 18 as well. According to a number of paper surveys and focus group discussions conducted by Dr. DiFranza, teenagers between ages 18 and 20 act as a major gateway to tobacco products for youth in their early to mid-teens. Therefore, fortifying the barrier to entry for obtaining cigarettes will effectively restrict access for younger groups indirectly.

Every year, the costs for tobacco-related health care in the United States approximate to an alarming $170 billion, with further economic losses due to smoke-related lost productivity in the form of smoking breaks and cigarette-related sick leaves approximating to more than $156 billion. For New Yorkers, these deficits amount to $10.4 billion and $6 billion respectively. With Tobacco 21 having a profound impact on the massive demographic of both the 18-20 age bracket, as well as individuals below the age of 18, the IOM expects this regulation to reduce smoking rate by 12 percent, and reduce smoking-related deaths by 10 percent. These changes are critical to addressing the losses to the American economy caused solely by tobacco-related health issues.

“Increasing the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 years would be an important step to reducing the effects of tobacco use on the health care system.” said Marcy Hager, Director of the COE for HSI. “This would ensure that another generation does not have to suffer the high consequences of tobacco use on their generation’s overall health”


For more information about the work of the COE for HSI, visit www.tobaccofreeny.org

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. Since 1979, CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in more than 27 countries and in all 50 states. Offering more than 1,500 training programs annually, CAI’s passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world. For more information about CAI, visit our website: www.caiglobal.org.

About the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement: With funding from the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control, CAI serves as the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free New York. The COE for HSI promotes large-scale systems and policy changes to support the universal provision of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment services. The COE for HSI aims to support 10 regional contractors throughout New York State working with health care systems and organizations that serve those populations for which tobacco use prevalence rates have not decreased in recent years - adults with low incomes, less than a high school diploma, and/or serious mental illness. Focused on providing capacity-building assistance services around topics like how to engage and obtain buy-in from leadership to implement the kinds of systems-level changes that will result in identification and intervention with every tobacco user who seeks care, the COE for HSI also will offer materials and resources to support contractors in their regional work. For more information, visit www.tobaccofreeny.org.

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