Great Neck’s North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Center for Tobacco Control (CTC) was awarded a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to help Long Island’s most vulnerable populations to quit smoking. Starting in July, the CTC will receive $300,000 annually through 2019.
The CTC grant will help cessation experts to target certain groups of people who have smoking rates higher than the state average to quit tobacco. According to DOH statistics, smoking in adults has declined from 24 percent in 2000 to 16 percent in 2012. However, the 2012 smoking rates are higher in people with low income (23 percent), those with less than a high school education (24 percent), the LBGT community (25 percent), people with mental illness or substance abuse (32 percent) and those infected with HIV (59 percent).
“Comparing all of these groups to the rest of the population of smokers, the smoking rate is quite high for these groups,” said Patricia Folan, DNP, director of the CTC.“The grant will allow our practitioners to better reach out to vulnerable groups of people on Long Island who need tailored education and cessation programs to stop smoking and improve their health.”
Dr. Folan said the state funding also allows CTC staff to continue to consult with healthcare leaders in hospitals, community health centers, behavioral health facilities and federal clinics to decrease tobacco use by developing protocols to ensure patients that smoke are screened for tobacco use and receive appropriate counseling to quit smoking. In addition, the grant supports research on statewide tobacco control initiatives.
The CTC offers the only regularly scheduled free community cessation program in Nassau County. The six-week program, offered eight times a year, includes support, education, cessation, medication, behavior modification, and relapse prevention strategies.
For more information, contact the Center for Tobacco Control at 516-466-1980, or the New York State Smokers’ Quit Line at: 1-866-NY-QUITS.