The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2006 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Comprehensive Community Model: Tobacco Cessation/Treatment and Support

Laura R. Van Heest  AS, RRT, NCTAS, Ann Dabkowski, BSN, NCTAS; Saint Mary's Health Care, Grand Rapids, Michigan & Tobacco Free Partners Cessation Center, Grand Rapids, MI.

Background:  Tobacco Use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the world. 

Objective:  To provide free, evidence -based tobacco cessation program to the community by multiple providers. 

Method: This is a unique story of how competitors became champions with dedication and planning to create a model that every community can follow.   Tobacco Free Partners® (TFP) collaborative took over the management of "Tobacco Free for Good©" (TFFG)  in 2000.  TFFG is a six-week/seven session smoking cessation program. The easily accessible classes are free and held throughout the year at a variety of locations. Relapse prevention support groups are included: "Nicotine Anonymous" and "The Quitters."  TFP Cessation Coordinator monitors the program and trains the facilitators.  The statistical database was modeled after the Mayo Clinic Intake Survey.  Participants are generally female, mean age is mid 40's, moderately -highly addicted as measured by the Fagerstrom survey, 47% self report some degree of depression, most smoke at least a pack of cigarettes a day and have an income of < $50,000 a year.

Summary: Beginning January 2000 to date over 400 people have attended classes. The partnership of four hospitals and one health insurance group has grown the availability of classes from 8 to 25 classes a year. Saint Mary's Health Care has been involved in this partnership from the beginning, represented by multiple physicians; nurses and respiratory therapists.  Initial assessment indicates that 70% of the people, who complete the program, leave the program as non-smokers.  One-year cessation rates are 35%.

Conclusion: The major public health threat to our community is the use of tobacco. As health care providers it is our obligation to educate and lead our community in this effort We reduce barriers to smoking cessation by providing an evidence - based community program that is recognizable, free and easy to access.

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