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Tobacco Free for Recovery Nicotine Dependence Treatment In Addictions Care Settings. Margaret Meriwether, PhD Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, University of California San Francisco LA County HIV, Drug & Alcohol Task Force September 15, 2010. A Word About SCLC.

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Tobacco Free for Recovery Nicotine Dependence Treatment In Addictions Care Settings

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Tobacco Free for RecoveryNicotine Dependence Treatment In Addictions Care Settings

Margaret Meriwether, PhD

Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, University of California San Francisco

LA County HIV, Drug & Alcohol Task Force

September 15, 2010

A Word About SCLC

  • Begun in 2003 as a national program office of RWJF, housed at UCSF in Dept. of Medicine

  • Director is an internist

  • We have worked with a broad array of clinicians and specialists

  • In last 4 years have moved into addictions and mental health

  • Partners with CADCA, FAVOR, NASADAD, NAADAC and other addiction groups

Tobacco’s Deadly Toll

443,000 deaths in the U.S. each year

4.8 million deaths world wide each year

10 million deaths estimated by year 2030

50,000 deaths in the U.S. due to second-hand smoke exposure

8.6 million disabled from tobacco in the U.S. alone

Tobacco kills nearly half the people who use it

Tobacco related diseases are the #1 cause of death in people previously treated for alcoholism


Also suffer frommental illness and/or substance use disorder

Behavioral Causes of Annual Deaths

in the United States, 2000


Number of deaths (thousands)



AIDS Alcohol Motor Guns Drug Suicide Smoking

Vehicle Induced

Source: Mokdad et al, JAMA 2004; 291:1238-1245

Mokdad et al; JAMA. 2005; 293:293

Why the Focus on Addictions?

  • 44% of cigarettes smoked in the US are consumed by individuals with an addictive or mental disorder.

  • Addictions counselors have traditionally chosen to allow smoking to continue, believing that people in recovery could not handle the stress of cessation.

Most states make an exception for addictions treatment settings when regulating smoking in the workplace.

AddictionWe Are in the Same Business

  • Nicotine is a pervasive, legal addiction (43 million users, a third to a half will die from using)

  • Nationally 77-93% of people in addictions treatment settings use tobacco, more than triple the national average

    Source: Richter et al., 2001

  • Tobacco use may increase the pleasure experienced when drinking alcohol

    Source: US DHHS NIDA Alcohol Alert, 2007

  • Heavy smoking may contribute to increased use of cocaine and heroin

    Source: US DHHS NIDA Notes, 2000

  • Heavy smokers have other, more severe addictions than non-smokers and moderate smokers

    Source: Marks et al., 1997; Krejci, Steinberg, and Ziedonis; 2003

Project SCUM

Project SCUM in the news

Project SCUM

targets their marketing to vulnerable urban


Need for Smoking Intervention

  • Smoking cessation needs to become a higher priority in the addictions treatment field.

  • While focusing on addictions and mental health, clinicians sometimes miss this more deadly condition.

  • Addressing tobacco use can improve health, ease pain, and save lives.

Tobacco Dependence and Addiction Care

  • Tobacco use is a leading cause of death in people with addictive disorders

  • Tobacco use is associated with worsened treatment outcomes, whereas treatment of tobacco dependence supports long-term sobriety

  • Tobacco use is associated with increased depressive symptoms and suicidal risk behaviors

  • Tobacco use is a lethal and ineffective long term coping strategy for stress

New Insights about Quitting

  • Treating tobacco use improved alcohol and other drug outcomes by an average of 25%. We now know it is better to quit all addictions up front, not wait with nicotine until later.

    Source: Prochaska et al., 2006

  • Tobacco use impedes recovery of brain function among individuals whose brains have been damaged by chronic alcohol use

    Source: Durazzo et al., 2007; Durazzo et al., 2006

    Source: Marks et al., 1997; Krejci, Steinberg, and Ziedonis, 2003.

Reduction vs. Abrupt Cessation In Smokers Who Want To Quit

  • There are two schedules to stop smoking for the behavioral health population: immediate cessation versus gradual reduction. As of now, there is no clear evidence supporting one over the other.

  • Also, the risks from lower intensity smoking are not much less than higher intensity.

What Happened to ATOD?

  • We used to address alcohol, tobacco and other drugs

  • Tobacco got sidelined somewhere along the way

  • It needs to be put back– we can do it together

Our Own “T” Party

  • Putting the T back in ATOD

3 Key Ingredients to Maximize Success in Smoking Cessation

  • Coaching

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Social Support

Make Cessation Simple, Concrete, Doable

  • We provide lots of free resources and technical assistance

  • We have helped build an army of tobacco interventionists in an array of health care and other settings

Ask. Advise. Refer. = 5 A’s


Ask. Every patient/client about tobacco use.




Advise. Every tobacco user to quit.


Refer. Determine willingness to quit. Provide information on quitlines.

Refer to Quitlines

ADHA Smoking Cessation Initiative (SCI)

Why the Focus on Quitlines?

  • They work--calling a quitline can more than double the chance of successfully quitting

  • Many clinicians say the 5 A’s are too complicated and time-consuming

  • Most clinicians seem unaware of quitlines, but when they learn about them they are willing to refer smokers to them

Addictions and Mental DisordersAmong Helpline Callers (CA Smokers’ Helpline)

  • Drug/alcohol problem 8.1%

  • Anxiety31.8%

  • Depression45.0%

  • Bipolar Disorder16.6%

  • Schizophrenia 8.7%

  • At least 1 of above52.0%

Source: California Smokers’ Helpline, unpublished data

Thank you

1-877-509-3786 for free technical assistance

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