[Updated February 20th, 2019] Taking Texas Tobacco Free is a community-academic collaboration between Integral Care, a community behavioral health center serving the Austin, Texas region, and the University of Houston.  Taking Texas Tobacco Free has assisted 29 community behavioral health centers and substance use treatment centers across Texas to implement 100% tobacco-free workplace programs since 2013.  Tobacco-free workplace programs protect people from exposure to secondhand smoke and assess people’s desire to quit tobacco and provide evidence-based tobacco dependence treatments to those who have a desire to quit tobacco.

On their website, www.takingtexastobaccofree.com, is a video highlighting the successes of Billy T. Cattan Recovery Outreach, an out-patient substance use treatment center, in Victoria, Texas.  Billy T. Cattan Recovery Outreach became 100% tobacco-free on April 2, 2018.  Through a combination of environmental policy, staff training, and evidence-based tobacco dependence treatments, the center has nurtured a culture in which approximately 88% of tobacco-using clients are attempting to quit using tobacco products.

Taking Texas Tobacco Free (TTTF) was a result of a 3 year grant and partnership between MD Anderson, Rice University, the University of Houston, and Austin Travis County Integral Care.

Since September 2014, TTTF has:

  • Provided 226 face to face staff trainings to 4,696 employees
    • Increased tobacco education and treatment knowledge (pre/post-test measures):
      • Non-direct care/administrative staff (50% average increase)
      • Direct care clinical staff (52% average increase)
    • Coordinated Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist trainings for 43 center staff
    • Trained over 200 clinical providers on Motivational Interviewing
    • Coordinated specialized prescriber training for over 70 clinical providers
    • Based on the training, clinicians reported a significant increase in knowledge gain
    • Based on the training received, clinicians have changed their clinical practices

Since September 2014, 18 centers have:

  • Distributed 10,132 boxes of nicotine patches, gum and lozenges to consumers and staff
  • Conducted 70,614 tobacco use assessments


TTTF has had amazing results and are inspiring others to adopt their efforts; state coordinators in Wyoming and North Carolina are looking into modeling programs after TTTF’s structure.

Are you a behavioral health agency looking to go tobacco-free? Check out TTTF’s variety of resources and you too, can make the change:


To learn more about TTTF, visit their website or Facebook.


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