Prepare for Important ACTION on Tobacco Use Addiction
By Cathy McDonald, MD
Consider using ICOVIDQUIT.com to encourage those with TUD to quit
ASAM president-elect Brian Hurley, MD has renewed the commitment to “standardizing the delivery of individual addiction care, particularly including smoking cessation, and…adequate health insurance coverage for individuals with substance use disorders, particularly tobacco use disorders.” He was speaking at a press conference that reported a 27% drop in calls to state tobacco quit lines during COVID-19. The conference announced a new resource to help individuals with behavioral health conditions to quit smoking, which was developed under the leadership of the UCSF based Smoking Cessation Leadership Center. The site, Icovidquit.com features four diverse individuals with lived experience of behavioral health conditions who quit smoking. The site offers downloadable posters/videos for your office or for posting on social media.
Inform others that a YES VOTE is a vote for a flavored tobacco/menthol BAN on upcoming Tobacco Industry Sparked referendum
Prepare to inform others about the need for ACTION on SB796 (Hill), the menthol and flavored tobacco ban which CSAM supported and Governor Newsom signed. Because the ban on flavored products is being held up by a tobacco industry sponsored referendum, it will be important to inform patients, colleagues, friends and others that THEY MUST VOTE YES on the referendum in order to enact the ban that has been delayed, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and recruitment of thousands of teens to smoking and vaping. This referendum will likely appear on the ballot in November 2021 with the recall election for Governor Newsom although the exact date has yet to be announced. A menthol ban will begin to address the years of targeting African Americans to buy menthol. You can begin to educate folks by posting something like this on your website or social media:
“Menthol cigarettes are killing Black people, and the @NYTimes just wrote all about it. Californians have the chance to finally end Big Tobacco’s dangerous scheme of hooking our kids on nicotine with candy flavors by voting YES to #ProtectCAKids
The referendum does not affect the ability of local communities to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products and menthol which over 100 communities in California have done either partially or completely. See list here: https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/factsheets/0398.pdf
Let colleagues know Addressing Tobacco Use in Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment Facilities likely to pass the legislature soon and be required
Last but not least CSAM is co-sponsor of AB541 (Berman) which passed by consent in the CA Assembly Health Committee. Despite a smoking rate of 11% in CA, SUD programs in California ranked 41st of 50 states in asking about tobacco use and 32nd in providing tobacco treatment counseling according to an MMWR report. AB541, if passed, requires substance use disorder facilities to assess clients for tobacco use, inform patients how continued tobacco use can affect their recovery, and offer treatment or referral for treatment of tobacco use disorders. Assemblyman Berman’s bill also requires incorporating data on tobacco use amongst SUD clients into the existing SUD database system which will help the state track the magnitude of this issue currently estimated at an incidence of 70% of patients in SUD treatment are tobacco dependent.