As we head into the new year, check out Dr. Steven Schroeder’s top twenty successes and challenges for smoking cessation. Dr. Schroeder is Distinguished Professor of Health and Health Care, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, UCSF, where he also heads the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center. The Center, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Truth Initiative, works with leaders of more than 80 American health professional organizations and health care institutions to increase the cessation rate for smokers. It has expanded the types of clinician groups that support cessation, developed an alternative cessation message (Ask, Advise, Refer), created new ways to market toll-free telephone quit lines, and engaged the mental health and addictions treatment community for the first time. The Center’s current work is focused especially on how to reduce the huge health burden from smoking that falls upon those with mental illnesses and/or substance abuse disorders. SCLC works collaboratively with SAMHSA, HRSA, the CDC, and multiple health professional groups to provide technical assistance to help strengthen smoking cessation capabilities. The Center has also facilitated summit meetings involving 18 states that conduct tobacco cessation summits enabling states to achieve targeted reductions in smoking rates among behavioral health populations.
“As an inveterate list maker, I can’t resist the opportunity to usher in the year 2020 with a list about smoking cessation. Below I enumerate my nominees for the top 20 successes that have helped promote smoking cessation, as well as the top 20 challenges facing smoking cessation today. I hope that you will find these provocative, and suspect that many would have variants on these lists. What matters is that we celebrate progress made while focusing on what is still needs doing.”
-Steven A. Schroeder, MD