Letter from the Executive Director
The mission of the Utah Department of Health is to protect the public’s health through preventing avoidable illness, injury, disability and premature death; assuring access to affordable, quality health care; and promoting healthy lifestyles. Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable death, disease, and disability in Utah and the reduction of tobacco use remains an important public health priority. In addition to contributing to Utah’s primary causes of death such as cancer, heart disease, and respiratory diseases, tobacco use causes or worsens most chronic diseases. Utah’s economy loses $663 million each year due to smoking-related medical costs and lost productivity.Recent increases in smoke-free policies and subsequent declines in cigarette smoking have led to the development of a growing number of alternative tobacco or nicotine products. These products, which include electronic cigarettes, hookahs, and dissolvable tobacco, are marketed as safe and “cool”. Increasing use of these products, especially among youth, is alarming since long-term health risks are unknown and nicotine addiction caused by these products may serve as a gateway to cigarette smoking. To continue to reduce the burden of tobacco use in Utah, a sustained commitment to effective tobacco prevention and cessation interventions is needed. The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) works with many partners to offer
proven tobacco prevention and cessation programs. Our free and condential phone
and web-based quit programs help thousands of Utah tobacco users to quit each year. Tobacco-free policies in schools and communities prevent youth from starting to use tobacco, and protect Utahns from secondhand smoke. Community-based programs ensure that those at higher risk for tobacco use have access to programs and services that meet their unique needs.
Since 2001, TPCP-funded quit services, the Utah Tobacco Quit Line (1.800.QUIT.NOW) and UtahQuitNet.com, have served more than 100,000 tobacco users.
As a result of the Recovery Plus Partnership between the TPCP and the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH), all of Utah’s publicly-funded substance abuse and mental health clinics (serving 17,000 clients) adopted tobacco-free campus policies and integrated tobacco cessation into treatment protocols.
The TPCP partnered with businesses, health plans, and healthcare providers to form the Utah Tobacco Prevention Task Force, which promotes comprehensive tobacco-free policies and works to increase access to cessation services in business and healthcare settings.It is my pleasure to present this report detailing our accomplishments for FY13. We express our appreciation to the Utah State Legislature, Tobacco Control Advisory Committee, our Independent Evaluation Team at the Research Triangle Institute, and our state and local partners for their guidance and commitment.Your support provides us with the opportunity to promote healthy lifestyles for all Utahns. What a privilege it is to work on behalf of the community and for the community to make a better future for us all.
W. David Patton, Ph.D. Executive Director
Above: Gavin Hoffman, MaryBeth and Bob Stover, and Scarlet Hartwell were among seven Utahns who shared their efforts to quit smoking as part of the inspirational TPCP
“Be A Quitter”
TV and Internet campaign. Their stories can be found at http:// beaquitterutah.com/.