The first two Eliminate Tobacco Use Summits were held in February 2016 and April 2017 with over 120 participants, representing all 14 University of Texas (UT) institutions, Texas Tech Health Science Center, Texas A&M, Texas Christian University, Texas State University and the University of California. The Summit helped to establish a baseline of current tobacco control policies, prevention education activities and cessation services, as well as cross-collaborative projects offered at each campus.
The goals of the summit are to:
- Share information and assess campus needs regarding tobacco control policies, public educational programs (including prevention), and cessation services
- Share tobacco control best practices within UT institutions
- Identify potential resources and support to strengthen tobacco control efforts.
- Develop templates for progressive actions in tobacco control (policies, educational programs, and cessation services), appropriate to the needs and resources of each institution
- Explore opportunities to support implementation efforts
- Implement and enhance tobacco control actions across UT institutions
The Toll of Tobacco
More Texans die each year from smoking than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined. Studies of patients in the United States indicate that continued smoking among patients with chronic and acute diseases interferes with treatment and increases the risk of disease recurrence. In addition, employees who smoke cigarettes have higher healthcare costs and are less productive.
Within the U.S., nearly 70% of smokers want to quit smoking. Forty-two percent make a quit attempt each year, but only 6% are abstinent a year later. Most adult smokers start daily smoking during adolescence and are addicted to nicotine by young adulthood. Thus, there is a need to provide more effective treatment and prevention efforts in Texas to ensure future success at reducing overall morbidity and mortality due to tobacco.