How UW-CTRI Outreach Addresses Tobacco Disparities

UW-CTRI has collaborated community groups and organizations throughout Wisconsin to address tobacco disparities. Here are a few examples.

UW-CTRI partnered to help residents in low-income communities of Milwaukee. It was called the ZIP Code Project.

The project hired people from the community to help their neighbors by going door-to-door, by hosting events, and by a variety of other ways to get the word out.

The Smoke-Free Housing Project
The Smoke-Free Housing Project reached out to Milwaukee residents

UW-CTRI has also partnered with Milwaukee-area public health advocates from the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Networks and the Milwaukee Housing Authority to reach out to residents living at HUD-supported housing in Milwaukee. This included education and a survey of how smoke-free housing has changed their lives. They published results.

Other projects include:

Mary Tucker quit smoking with help from the Quit Line
Mary quit smoking with help from the Quit Line

The Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line addresses various tobacco disparities, statewide, free of charge, by being available 24/7 to anyone in Wisconsin at 800-QUIT-NOW. The Quit Line has proven to be an effective way to bring evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment to smokers from disparate programs. More than half of Quit Line callers are under-insured. The Quit Line serves a higher percentage of people from minority communities than are represented in the general Wisconsin population. Since it began in 2001, more than 250,000 Wisconsin smokers have benefited.

American Indian QuitlineUW-CTRI has collaborated with with tribes to conduct research to learn more about commercial tobacco use, how to avoid the harms of commercial use, and how to help tribal members keep traditional tobacco use sacred. The use of commercial tobacco on tribal lands tends to be higher than the general population in America. The Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line also collaborates with tribes to offer a service dedicated to helping people of American Indian decent to quit commercial use.

UW-CTRI partners with First Breath, a program of the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation (WWHF) to help pregnant and postpartum women quit smoking. We have also partnered with WWHF for decades to conduct research and outreach to help women who use tobacco and are at risk of tobacco dependence. In one collaboration with WWHF, UW-CTRI published a paper showing how financial incentives helped women to stay smoke-free after child birth. A new paper in Preventive Medicine also shows that, for pregnant women with socio-economic disadvantages, financial incentives to engage in treatment to quit smoking are cost-effective.

UW-CTRI has worked for decades to help behavioral health patients, who now smoke nearly half the cigarettes in America. This includes working with behavioral health providers (eg, the Bucket Approach) and interacting with behavioral health patients. UW-CTRI has been collaborating with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for nearly 15 years on the Wisconsin Nicotine Treatment Integration Project (WiNTiP), which includes not only outreach to behavioral health providers and their clients, but also to policymakers who create the initiatives that supports successful attempts to quit tobacco use. For example, the Governor’s State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA) voted to adopt a policy that recommends integrating Tobacco Use Disorders into Wisconsin Substance Use Disorder treatment services, and to make it a standard of practice at recovery centers.

UW-CTRI works with staff at Scenic Bluffs Community Health Center to help patients quit tobacco use
UW-CTRI works with staff at Scenic Bluffs Community Health Center to help patients quit tobacco use

UW-CTRI Regional Outreach Specialists also train healthcare providers across the state on how to address all tobacco disparities. The outreach team also works with the leaders of health systems to incorporate systematic changes that ensure all patients are screened for tobacco use and offered the care they need to quit. The UW-CTRI Outreach Program, with primary funding from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, is charged with bringing effective evidence-based tobacco use treatment to every corner of the state and instituting policies to help people quit. By providing training to healthcare providers, clinics and healthcare delivery systems, UW-CTRI outreach staff enhance the ability of healthcare providers to treat tobacco users from diverse backgrounds successfully. By providing technical assistance to systems and insurers statewide, outreach staff help these organizations implement evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment. This includes working with community health centers.

UW-CTRI has assisted incarcerated individuals to avoid tobacco dependence and to quit. Inmates and parolees smoke at high rates and typically suffer from multiple types of disadvantages. UW-CTRI has partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections to address this issue. UW-CTRI outreach staff have trained prison staff on how to offer tobacco addiction programs so inmates don’t restart smoking once they are paroled. UW-CTRI has conducted research on how to help people who are incarcerated to live tobacco-free. In addition, the Wisconsin Nicotine Treatment Integration Project, which includes UW-CTRI staff, has funded grants to the Chippewa Valley Correctional Facility. See the following video for an example of the successes from this program.