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Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health

Meeting Summary: November 6, 2003

Public and Private Sector Roles in Tobacco Use Reduction

Update on Cessation Subcommittee of the ICSH

Dr. Carmona asked Dr. Michael Fiore to provide an update on activities of the Cessation Subcommittee of the ICSH.

Dr. Michael Fiore, director of the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison Wisconsin and Chair of the Subcommittee began by providing background to committee members. In August 2002, the Department of Health and Human Services requested the establishment of a separate working subcommittee of the ICSH to focus national attention on cessation. This subcommittee is an advisory group to the ICSH and is charged with developing a set of proposed action steps that will be presented to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson in the winter of 2003. These recommendations will serve as the basis for a Secretary's initiative on cessation, beginning in 2003, that will involve a series of federal initiatives and public-private partnerships designed to reduce tobacco prevalence in the U.S. by promoting evidence-based cessation.

The action plan will be informed by four evidence-based documents: the Public Health Service's Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence; the U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services' Guide to Community Preventive Services: Tobacco Use Prevention and Control; the Action Plan on Tobacco Use Cessation: Recommendations from the Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health (after the August 14, 2001, meeting entitled "Smoking Cessation: Facing the Challenges of Tobacco Addiction."); and the National Blueprint for Disseminating and Implementing Evidence-Based Clinical and Community Strategies to Promote Tobacco Use Cessation (still in draft form).

The action plan will also be informed by the oral and written public testimony presented to the subcommittee during three regional meetings in Washington, DC; Denver, Colorado; and Chicago, Illinois. Testimony can also be submitted to the Office on Smoking and Health through December 20, 2002.

During the first regional hearing held in Washington, DC on October 24, 2002, the subcommittee heard from 21 individuals testifying. Some of the key themes and recommendations presented focused on the need for a comprehensive approach to addressing cessation; the important role that clinicians can play and the need for additional training on tobacco use intervention; barriers created by the absence of health insurance coverage for tobacco dependence treatment; the importance of reaching underserved populations; the importance of population-based strategies such as quitlines, media campaigns and increasing the unit price of tobacco; and the difficulties posed by an absence of secure funding at the state level for tobacco cessation efforts.

Dr. Fiore closed his remarks by informing the committee that HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson has challenged the cessation subcommittee to present him with a bold and innovative plan that will substantially decrease tobacco use rates – thereby reducing illness and mortality in the United States—by promoting smoking cessation.

Dr. Carmona introduced the next speaker.


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