On World No Tobacco Day, NYS Health Care Providers are Urged to Prioritize Tobacco Addiction Treatment

May 31, 2017, N.Y. – According to New York State Department of Health, tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death, claiming approximately 28,200 lives annually. To help address this statewide issue, Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York Syracuse is urging health care organizations to establish formal policies for tobacco addiction treatment and encouraging providers to act in recognition of World No Tobacco Day on May 31st.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, that despite the connection between tobacco addiction and most chronic illnesses, fewer than 50 percent of physicians address smoking with their patients. Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York Syracuse’s evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment workflows enable providers to consistently treat tobacco addiction, and will assist organizations with achieving the Triple Aim of health care, including: enhancing the patient experience; improving the health of populations; and lowering the cost of health care.

“Tobacco-related illnesses can be devastating for both medical and behavioral health patients, and we need to address it across all aspects of care,” said Christopher Owens, Director of CNY Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems. “Tobacco use causes disease, disability and death, and can trigger other substance abuse disorders. We hope that by extending our resources to local providers in our communities, we can partner together in taking action to treat tobacco addiction with every patient at every visit.”

Research reported in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report indicates that providers who treat tobacco addiction with both medication and counseling see success rates two to three times higher than those who do not. Here in New York, Family Counseling Services, a provider of mental health and chemical dependency counseling programs to more than 6,000 individuals in Madison and Cortland counties, partnered with Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York to develop consistent tobacco cessation procedures across each of their locations. One year after implementation, 52 percent of clients who were eligible had accepted cessation services.

For more information visit www.hstnymed.org (for medical health care providers) or www.hstnygroup.org (for behavioral health care providers).

Each year, World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed globally on the 31st of May to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco and draw attention to the continued prevalence of tobacco use and its negative health effects.  The day is further intended to advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987, and set the annual date for May 31st in 1988. For more information, visit: http://www.who.int/campaigns/no-tobacco-day/2017/event/en/.

About Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York Syracuse: Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York Syracuse is part of a statewide network of professionals that provides resources to assist health facilities and behavioral health organizations across New York deliver more consistent and effective evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment to patients and clients. Visit www.hstnymed.org or www.hstnygroup.org for more information.