Thursday, September 30, 2010
Partnership for Prevention’s second ActionToQuit state summit was held on September 28 in Buffalo, New York. The event brought together organizational representatives, leaders, and advocates committed to saving lives and improving health through tobacco cessation. The summit was led by the New York State (NYS) Smokers Quitline, which received a grant from Partnership for Prevention to develop a state plan for tobacco cessation.
David Zauche, Senior Program Officer at Partnership for Prevention, provided the keynote address at the Buffalo summit. He stressed that tobacco cessation offers the highest value of all preventive services, receiving the top rating by the National Commission for Prevention Priorities for health impact and cost effectiveness. He noted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that tobacco cessation services be covered benefits for all employees, and he explained how federal health reform will positively impact cessation in the nation.
Currently there are 2.7 million smokers in New York State. Leaders from the state quitline and other agencies and organizations set an ambitious goal of reducing that number by one million by the year 2014. This would entail reducing the adult smoking prevalence from 18% to 12%. Fortunately, most cessation indicators are moving in the right direction in New York.
- There have been steady increases in the past decade in the percentage of smokers receiving assistance from their health care provider
- Similar increases have been seen in the percentage of smokers making a quit attempt
- The NYS Smokers Quitline is heavily promoted, providing free telephone and online cessation services and free medications to thousands of people each year
- Paid media campaigns reinforce the need to quit and cessation centers exist to provide additional help