The Network

for LGBT Tobacco Control

New Policy Statement on Comprehensive Cessation Services

Many of us probably know that long ago, the federal best practice protocols for tobacco control started to call for comprehensive coverage of all cessation services by insurance companies. It’s really a no-brainer, right? I’m always a bit confused as to how the actuaries who run insurance risk profiles failed to notice the cost-benefit rewards of that one. I mean look at that new data from CA; each $5 pack of cigarettes costs the state of CA $27 in associated healthcare costs?!! (thanks Kurt for sending that out, thanks ALA for releasing that research). (see report here)

Well, nicely, we’re also seeing a growing trend of change on this point. Medicaid is now covering all cessation (read about it here) and Medicare is too (see here). Also, I’m not sure if it’s done or coming, but I know this coverage is being expanded to all federal employee insurance policies too. And 7 states currently require private insurance to cover cessation (read about it here) but more are looking to expand to this every day. So local policy change that makes a big difference could be coming to your neck of the woods soon.

And we want to help you make it happen!

So, I’m very pleased to debut the Networks’ new policy statement supporting comprehensive cessation coverage. Thanks to Gustavo for the writing. And good luck to all, may the day come soon when everyone has free and easy access to cessation!


Bookmark and Share

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Tobacco Policy | , , | 1 Comment

Network hosting June 8th Webinar on HIV and Tobacco. Register today!

The Network, in conjunction with the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, will be hosting an interactive webinar on tobacco and HIV this Tuesday June 8th from 2pm-330pm EST. Please join host Shannon Murphy for a dialogue on the effects of tobacco on individuals living with HIV/AIDS and the importance of cessation within this population. There will also be ample time allotted to share stories, network, and collaborate on the call. You can register for the webinar here.

Our Sharing Our Lessons on HIV and Tobacco Cessation


  • Danielle Grospitch is a certified tobacco treatment specialist for Tobacco-Free Lake County Illinois. She recently presented at the Promising Practices: Acheiving Health and Social Equity in Tobacco Control conference in New Orleans on tobacco use in HIV populations. She will sharing her knowledge on how tobacco use affects treatment and disease progression for the  50%-70% of HIV-positive individuals who use tobacco.
  • Featured in our most recent issue of Sharing Our Lessons, Barbara Warren Psy. D., CASAC, CPP will be discussing her involvement in the groundbreaking cessation program for people living with HIV/AIDS established at the LGBT Center of New York City.

You can register here and we look forward to your participation!

June 3, 2010 Posted by | Presentations, Resources | , , | 2 Comments

SRNT Update 5: The New Wave of Cessation

Scary time today.  Early this morning I received a text from back home in Hawaii about all this crazy tsunami stuff after the terrible earthquake in Chile.  Worried all morning about my family back home, it was hard to really have my head in the game.  I still managed to take in some posters and presentations, but hadn’t been able to write up anything until now because I had been glued to the TV.  Things have now been pretty much cleared, so it’s back to tobacco and nicotine!

Speaking of waves, as far as tobacco research, one of those new waves is cessation for adolescents.  That was certainly represented in the presentations here at the SRNT conference.  Let me ruin the ending for you: cessation for youth can and does work.  At least that’s according to the presentations I attended.  There are some barriers and lessons learned that the presenters did an awesome job in talking about. Here’s a quick rundown of what I got:

You might not want to call your youth cessation program a cessation program: Susan Druker from the University of Massachusetts in her presentation talked about how they called their youth cessation research project “Air It Out”.  This as a way to counter the stigma associated with youth cessation and instead capitalized on the idea that teens want to talk and air our their feelings on “stuff.”

Don’t make your cessation program just for smokers: Dr. Jeffrey Fellows from Kaiser Permanente and Dr. Arthur Peterson from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research designed interventions that provided services for both smokers and non-smokers.  This also helped to reduce the stigma of a teen going into a cessation program.  This also helped in recruitment and retention into the program.  Non-smokers would get some preventive information about tobacco or about other health topics.

Be Proactive: speakers pointed out that proactive recruitment and services were key to the efficacy of their interventions.  All programs not only saw significant increases in cessation rates between control and experimental group, but also saw huge retention rates.  While some recruited through well visits to pediatricians, others recruited through schools.

Build rapport: As with most programs that utilize motivational interviewing for cessation programs, rapport is very important to teen cessation.  It starts all the way at the beginning by emphasizing confidentiality, as Air It Out did, and by utilizing trained counselors in motivational interviewing.  Air It Out sent out individualized notes to each teen, which Druker believes was key to their high retention rates.

Kaiser partnered with Free & Clear to provide telephone counseling.  The Fred Hutchinson treatment center also provided phone services while Air It Out provided face to face. The topics covered in the counseling were similar to the topics that are covered in adult cessation, and the cessation rates were similar to those of adults.  One difference is that the youth were not provided with NRT, as it’s still not approved by the FDA.

I will have one more blog entry talking about the awesome posters at the conference.  Too many to share, but I will try to give a taste.

February 27, 2010 Posted by | Scholarship Opportunity | , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: