June 26, 2017

Addressing Tobacco Use Among Consumers and Staff at Behavioral Health Treatment Facilities Through Comprehensive Workplace Programming

By Miguel Valdez Soto

Tobacco use is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States; cigarette smoking is the most common form of tobacco use. Smoking has become increasingly concentrated among individuals with behavioral health needs (e.g., persistent mental illness) and has led to increased morbidity and mortality in this group relative to the general population. Comprehensive tobacco-free workplace programs are effective in reducing tobacco use and cigarette smoke exposure among behavioral health consumers and the individuals who serve them. Taking Texas Tobacco-Free (TTTF) represents an academic–community partnership formed to address tobacco use among consumers and employees at behavioral health clinics across Texas via the dissemination of an evidence-based, multicomponent tobacco-free workplace program. Program components of TTTF include tobacco-free campus policy implementation and enforcement, staff education about tobacco use hazards, provider training to regularly screen for and address tobacco dependence via intervention, and community outreach. These components, the nature of the academic–community partnership, the process of behavioral health facility involvement and engagement, and the benefits and challenges of implementation from the perspectives of the project team and participating clinic leaders are described. This information can guide similar academic and community partnerships and inform the implementation of other statewide tobacco-free workplace programming.

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Tags: Research, Research awarnes and dissemination

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