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Science and Practice of Smoking Cessation in SUD Treatment

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The smoking prevalence in California (CA) is at a historic low; 8.9% of the general population smoked cigarettes in 2020, as compared to 12.5% nationally. However, individuals with mental and/or substance use disorders (SUD) smoke at a rate of 2-3 times higher than the general population. Among SUD agencies, CA ranks 41st in the U.S. for tobacco use screening, 32nd in providing cessation counseling, 40th in utilization of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and 46th in % of smoke-free campuses. Research shows that smoking can exacerbate SUD symptoms and create treatment complications. Individuals with SUD are interested in quitting, can quit, and experience health benefits from quitting. Quitting more than doubles the likelihood of successful SUD treatment and improves quality of life and decreases symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.

In 2018, The California Tobacco Control Program established the CA Behavioral Health and Wellness Initiative, an innovative 5-year project to assist behavioral health agencies (including residential SUD treatment programs) with implementing tobacco-free (TF) campus policies and evidence-based tobacco cessation treatment. Four cohort groups received high quality mentoring tailored to their sites in the effort to develop TF policy. The grantees also participated in learning communities with cohort peers. We will share lessons learned including the importance of peer learning, a guide to addressing concerns, and how a strong Advisory Council can guide the project and suggest broader policy implications.  The success of this initiative created the foundation for CA State Assembly Bill AB-541, which was signed into law in August 2021. The new policy requires require a licensed facility or a certified program to assess a patient or client for use of all tobacco products at the time of the initial intake and take certain actions if the patient or client has tobacco use disorder.

  • Understand the ties between an individual’s substance use disorder and their addiction to smoking. 
  • Identify how to take a behavioral health facility smoke-free and integrate cessation treatment, under a lens of overall wellness.
  • Learn the importance of providing NRT/pharmacotherapy for both staff and clients, and how to partner with a local quitline for cessation resources.

1 CEU Provided through NAADAC

Cindy Carlson and Catherine Bonniot

Catherine Bonniot, Deputy Director, Smoking Cessation Leadership Center

Cindy Carlson, Executive Director, Progress House

RSVP Required
Date & Time: 
Thursday, August 25, 2022 11:00 am to 12:00 pm