Texas Provides NRT as Part of a Range of Tobacco Cessation Measures in Mental Health Treatment Settings
During 2013-2017, the Taking Texas Tobacco Free (TTTF) project, with funding from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, partnered with 22 community mental health treatment centers (representing over 250 individual clinics) to put comprehensive and sustainable tobacco-free programs in place in Texas. The goal was to reduce tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure among employees, clients, and visitors by adopting tobacco-free campus policies, screening employees and clients regularly for tobacco use, and providing counseling and NRT to tobacco users who want to quit.
Over the four-year period:
- TTTF staff trained 5,172 mental health clinic employees (including those not providing direct clinical care) about tobacco use and its impact on persons with mental health conditions,
- TTTF staff trained employees providing direct clinical care about how NRT and non-nicotine cessation medication can help people quit tobacco,
- TTTF staff provided tobacco dependence training to 150 of the employees providing direct clinical care,
- Clinicians at these facilities screened for tobacco use over 120,000 times, and
- Over 15,000 individual boxes of nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges were provided to mental health treatment clinic clients and staff.1
Texas has the highest proportion of mental health treatment facilities that offer NRT.2 The Texas Department of State Health Services Tobacco Prevention and Control Program has said that providing “starter supplies” of NRT to behavioral health centers has made a difference; it has been easier for these facilities to implement tobacco-free campus policies and put in place processes to consistently screen clients for tobacco use because they have cessation tools on hand to support quit attempts. TTTF is now implementing a similar program with 18 substance use disorder treatment centers.
- More information about Taking Texas Tobacco Free and its implementation guide, including sample tobacco-free policies, tobacco use assessments, and NRT distribution policies, can be found at Taking Texas Tobacco Free – Implementation ResourcesExternal.
- Marynak K, VanFrank B, Tetlow S, et al. Tobacco Cessation Interventions and Smoke-Free Policies in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities—United States, 2016. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 67(18):519—523, 2018.