The Arizona Speaker of the House and President of the Senate approved four new appointments to the TRUST Commission, our statewide advisory group on the use, spending, and tracking of tobacco tax funds used for tobacco and chronic disease programming. The four new members, each of whom bring tremendous added value to work, are:
Scott Leischow, PhD., is internationally known for his research and training regarding nicotine addiction and cessation practice, is in the process of moving from his position at the University of Arizona as Professor in the Colleges of Medicine & Public Health, and Associate Director at the Arizona Cancer Center, to serve in a research capacity at the Mayo Clinic & Hospitals. Scott has been a long-time friend and advisor to our work, and brings considerable knowledge and perspective to our work.
Kelly Grose, Senior Vice President of the American Heart Association, brings a strong background of evidence-based programming and public policy development to our work in both tobacco control and chronic disease. With heart disease still being the #1 cause of death, it is imperative that we ensure a strong sense of knowledge and leadership in this arena.
Edmundo Hidalgo, President and CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc., brings high level leadership and knowledge regarding the economic and health concerns of Latinos/Latinas, both here in Arizona and along all borderlands. This fills a critical gap in our efforts to navigate the social and political climates affecting the highest growing population in Arizona. Edmundo is a long-time friend who is well-known for his abilities to translate “big picture” issues into localized, manageable efforts.
Sharlene Bozack, Chief Government Relations Officer of the American Cancer Society (Cancer Action Network), Great West Division, is another long-time supporter of public health concerns in Arizona, and has been instrumental in several policy developments improving the health of Arizonans who use tobacco.
The Empower Pack kicked off its statewide tour at Desert Mesa Elementary School Wednesday afternoon with a live interactive performance for the students. The acting troupe from the Phoenix Theater has collaborated with the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease and the Bureau of Nutrition and Physical Activity to empower the youths of today to make good decisions regarding nutrition, physical activity and avoiding tobacco. The Empower Pack will continue to spread its message to children ages 8-11 as it visits various schools throughout the state.
by Taylor Summers/KTAR
PHOENIX — One of the more popular New Year’s resolutions every year comes from smokers hoping to kick the habit.
The Maricopa County Health Department wants to help make that easier. To do so, the department is working with the quit smoking hotline, Ashline.
“Most of [Ashline’s] coaches are ex-smokers,” Wayne Tormala, chief of the Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease, said. “They offer a lot of tailored coaching.”
What smokers might not know is if they are using the state Medicaid program, AHCCCS, they can actually get 12 free weeks of nicotine gum, patches, or medications. The hope is that the money used from AHCCCS for this will be an investment to prevent a larger cost burden in the future.
“The cost burden of smokers in Arizona has been estimated by the Department of Health and Human Services to be over $3 billion a year,” Tormala said. “When someone spends about $6-8 bucks on cigarettes, it’s costing the state about $40.”
Tormala says the combination of those nicotine medications and support from Ashline can churn out a 50 percent success rate when helping smokers quit, a far cry from the three percent found in those who quit cold turkey.
To speak with Ashline, call 1-800-55-66-222.
Happy New Year from Today Publications
|Happy New Year from Today Publications, we hope your year will be full of happiness and prosperity.
The most common resolutions for the New Year include: • Shaping up or losing weight • Quitting drinking or drinking less alcohol • Quitting smoking • Spending less time with TV or computer One reason these goals typically top the resolution lists in December but are forgotten by March is because people try to achieve them alone. It doesn’t have to be that way this year. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) will help you make the changes permanent – and the help is free of charge!
“A plan and a pal are the keys to making your resolution work,” said Will Humble, ADHS Director. “Decide what you want to do and find someone you can depend on to help you. I do the treadmill every night with my son. If I forget or am tired, he’s really good about reminding me.”
Support is what helped thousands of Arizonans quit using tobacco. The Arizona Smokers’ Helpline is one of the most successful programs in the country, in part because of its flexibility and accessibility.
If people need a supportive voice, the hotline provides coaching by phone (800-55-66-222). For those who are more word, text or email-based, there’s online support. There’s even a new iPhone app to give would-be quitters the help they need, as well as a Facebook page. Plus, the staff at ASHLine can tell you about nicotine replacement therapies, and may be able to help you get a free patch or prescription.
When it comes to shaping up or losing weight, ADHS has lots of web-based resources. Eatwellbewell.org is full of ideas on how to be active with your family and make good choices about the foods you eat.
Myplate.gov discusses the importance of balancing your diet. The ADHS website has other tips, as well, like how farmers markets can help you find fresh fruits and vegetables. If you need help designing a fitness plan that works for you, ADHS has that too.
For those who have a goal to stop drinking or reduce their consumption of alcohol in 2012, ADHS can help. ADHS provides a fact sheet with helpful information about alcohol use. People also can access substance abuse programs across the state by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
No matter what your goals are for 2012, you can accomplish them. And we can help. Check out the Healthy Living website, which includes inspiring stories from people at ADHS.
To comment on this article and others, please visit: facebook.com/SanTanValleyNEWSor send us an email at // <![CDATA[
County program has helpline, iPhone app
by Michelle Ye Hee Lee– Jan. 2, 2012 10:35 PM The Republic | azcentral.com
Maricopa County has kicked off its annual push for a smoking-cessation program for residents and employees who have resolved to quit smoking in the new year.
Arizona’s smoking-cessation program is funded through the state Department of Health Services and promoted by the counties. The state’s advertising campaign for its free “quitline” — a telephone service with coaches to help those quitting smoking — launched last week for Arizona residents.
The county’s six-week program with a cessation specialist begins today at the county’s administration building in downtown Phoenix.
The ADHS recently launched a free iPhone application for residents who want to track their personal progress and create a support network on their own. The application also allows residents to call a “quit coach” when they need one.
With the renewed push to offer smoking-cessation services, Arizona Smokers’ Helpline Director Stephen Michael said the start of the new year is a fitting time for residents to quit smoking. There are plenty of smokers making the same resolution, so they can keep each other accountable, he said.
“This time of year, it’s OK to quit smoking, and it’s OK to be public about it,” Michael said. “The two Number 1 resolutions is to lose weight and quit smoking.”
Through the state and county programs, residents enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program also can receive 12 weeks of free medication, including nicotine gum, patches and lozenges.
The helpline is a telephone and Web-based service. Quit coaches help callers set up a plan for quitting, then call them once a week.
They suggest activities people can substitute for smoking, and point them to resources they can use on their own so that the helpline is not the only assistance they have to quit smoking.
Quit coaches encourage callers to stay with the program for at least 90 days.
They follow up with the callers at the seven-month and one-year marks to see how they are doing.
Lee Connelly, supervisor of the smoking-cessation program at the county Department of Public Health, encouraged those quitting smoking to check with their insurance companies or workplace human-resource coordinators for special insurance offers or options for non-smokers.
The county created financial incentives in its benefit plans for employees and dependents who are non-smokers. A health-plan requirement to take cheek swabs from employees to verify if they smoked caused an outcry last year among some who said the process was an invasion of privacy and would allow the county to collect sensitive health information.
The county today is starting a new round of classes for employees who want to quit smoking. Employees can attend the class once a week during their lunch hour to learn about nicotine-replacement therapy and tips on managing withdrawal, weight gain and stress.
Connelly said about a dozen participants show up at the classes. There is room for more.
County employees who participate are each covered $500 a year for prescription smoking-cessation medicines.
Justin Lauridsen, judicial clerk at the Pretrial Services Division of the county’s Adult Probation Department, quit smoking through the county’s program about a month ago after smoking at least a pack a day for seven years. He took two weeks’ worth of smoking-cessation medicine, which the county paid for.
Lauridsen, 25, said it was jarring to learn of smokers his age having serious health problems that later developed into near-fatal conditions.
He said it was helpful having a co-worker with whom to attend smoking-cessation classes.
“It was so much information I didn’t know about smoking,” Lauridsen said.