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Grant to fund expansion of tobacco treatment services for cancer patients

November 27, 2017

A grant-funded program led by Lisa Fucito, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Tobacco Treatment Service (TTS) at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, will expand access to tobacco treatment services for cancer patients in Connecticut.

The program, funded by the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Centers Cessastion Initiative (C3I), will increase the number of patients who are screened for tobacco use, offered tobacco treatment, and treated for tobacco use through TTS at Smilow. Cancer patients at all 12 Smilow-affiliated care centers in the state will be eligible for treatment.

The TTS will be modified to be a more proactive, non-referral-based care model. An electronic health record will generate daily reports of scheduled outpatients who report tobacco use. TTS providers will then deliver a standard tobacco intervention to these patients at their oncology visits.

The intervention will include:

  • An assessment of tobacco use;
  • A brief (approximately 3 minute) motivational behavioral intervention including the cancer-specific benefits of smoking cessation;
  • Evidence-based tobacco cessation counseling including the TTS, CT Quitline and/or NCI Smokefree TXT program;
  • Evidence-based tobacco pharmacotherapies including nicotine replacement therapies, varenicline, and bupropion.

Onsite providers at the 12 Smilow centers will be trained in the intervention program.

Fucito, an expert in the assessment and treatment of tobacco use disorders, will direct the effort. She will be assisted by Dr. Steven Bernstein, TTS Associate Director and Medical Advisor, and Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Yale; and Dr. Anne Chiang, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Smilow Cancer Hospital, Chief Network Officer, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Yale.

Twenty-two cancer centers across the country received funding for the initiative, part of the NCI Cancer Moonshot, whose goal is to help cancer centers build and implement sustainable tobacco cessation treatment programs to help cancer patients quit smoking.

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on November 27, 2017