Goal 1: Reduce the prevalence of smoking in the Houston Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)


  • Policy Objectives:
    • Encourage public and private insurance coverage of tobacco cessation
    • Support healthy smoke-free environments

  • Education Objectives:
    • Public: Increase awareness of the dangers and drawbacks of tobacco use
    • Public: Increase knowledge of cessation resources among current smokers
    • Professional: Increase health care professionals’ knowledge of the dangers and drawbacks of tobacco use
    • Professional: Increase health care professionals’ knowledge of effective smoking cessation practices and resources
    • Professional: Improve health care professionals’ skill in providing the 5A’s of tobacco cessation counseling

  • Service Objective:
    • Increase access to effective tobacco cessation programs and counseling



>Tobacco-Free Policy Toolkit for Institutions of Higher Education

Tobacco Poster

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  • Tobacco Cessation Course 2 - Interactive Vignettes for Counseling Smokers in Health Care Settings

    This course from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is intended for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and other health care professionals as well as students, residents, and fellows and consists of video vignettes and computer simulations which focus on the delivery of evidence-based pharmacologic and behavioral treatments for tobacco dependence. After reviewing the course materials, participants should be able to:

    • Incorporate tobacco cessation counseling models into everyday practice
    • Effectively counsel patients who require additional medical care (pregnant women, alcohol-dependent patients, and clinically depressed patients)
    • Address post-cessation concerns (weight-gain, nicotine withdrawal, and relapse)
    • Effectively counsel smokers who live with nonsmokers and smokers with partners who are not ready to quit
    • Implement the combination of behavioral and pharmacologic treatments for enhancing patient outcomes

    The videos in this series provide templates for primary care conversations between physicians and patients. The opening videos illustrate the steps for two effective, evidence-based tobacco cessation counseling models which can be applied to all patients who smoke: the 5 A’s Tobacco Counseling Model (Ask-Advise-Assess-Assist-Arrange) and the AAR Tobacco Counseling Model (Ask-Advise-Refer). The remaining vignettes feature patients with either a specific medical condition or a concern about quitting smoking. Patients in the following scenarios require specialized counseling and recommendations:

    • Weight Concerns
    • Pregnant Smoker
    • Nicotine Withdrawal Concerns
    • Relapse
    • Secondhand Smoke
    • Other Household Smokers
    • Alcohol Use and Smoking Cessation
    • Depression and Smoking Cessation

    The vignettes featuring virtual patients are computer simulations of clinical encounters. These simulations include decision points consisting of correct and incorrect counseling options which allow the learners to make their own decisions on how to successfully counsel patients to quit smoking. These computer simulations illustrate the 5A’s and the AAR Tobacco Counseling Models and outline how to counsel a patient with nicotine withdrawal concerns.


Data from the Texas Cancer Registry, SEER, and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) are used to prioritize cancer sites and risk factors for inclusion within the cancer control plan. The following data and data sources are informing the activities of the Goal 1: Smoking Workgroup.


  • Use of an Automated EMR System to Link Underserved Smokers with Cessation Treatment
    • Dr. Jenny Vidrine, MDACC, and Janet Donath, Good Neighbor FQHC

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>Tobacco-Free Policy Toolkit for Institutions of Higher Education

Tobacco-Free Policy Toolkit for Institutions of Higher Education

On behalf of the City of Houston/Harris County Community Transformation Initiative, the Comprehensive Cancer Control Tobacco Work Group at MD Anderson Cancer Center created a Houston/Harris County Tobacco Task Force (Task Force) to serve as a place for collaboration, resource development, and technical assistance to address tobacco use among college campus populations. The Houston Department of Health & Human Services received a planning award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to build capacity to support healthy lifestyles in Harris County. The award targets tobacco-free living, active living and healthy eating, quality clinical and other preventive services, and social and emotional wellness.

The work group was charged with lending their expertise to the development of a Tobacco Task Force Toolkit. The purpose of the Toolkit is to provide a coordinated strategic framework for institutions of higher education in Houston/Harris County to develop and or strengthen their current campus tobacco policy.


Texas Tobacco Summit

2014 Texas Tobacco Summit a Success!

The 2014 Texas Tobacco Summit, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report, Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General, was held on June 26th-27th in Houston. Visit the Texas Tobacco Summit website at http://www.texascancer.info/texastobaccosummit to view the presentations and to learn more about the summit.