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MD Anderson Is First in Texas to Be Accredited to Train Tobacco Treatment Specialists


By Clayton R. Boldt, Ph.D. | August 11, 2017

Since 2006, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Tobacco Treatment Program (TTP) has been serving MD Anderson patients and employees by providing tobacco cessation services to those seeking to quit or modify their tobacco use. Soon, the institution’s tobacco cessation expertise will be available to any health care professional interested in treating tobacco users.

MD Anderson recently was accredited to offer official training and certification by The Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence, an organization of providers dedicated to the promotion of and increased access to evidence-based tobacco treatment. With this designation, MD Anderson’s Certified Tobacco Treatment Training Program (CTTTP) becomes one of only 15 accredited programs in the country, and the only one in Texas.

There is a particular need for such programs in Texas, where current smoking rates remain above 15 percent. Each year in the state, an estimated 28,000 adults die each year from tobacco use, which remains the single largest preventable cause of death in the U.S.

“Our program will offer the highest quality tobacco-treatment specialist training using the latest evidence-based tobacco cessation research and treatment strategies,” says Paul Cinciripini, Ph.D., chair of Behavioral Science and director of MD Anderson’s Tobacco Treatment Program. “The training will include knowledge gained from MD Anderson investigator-initiated research trials and highly specialized clinical experience.”

Interdisciplinary health care providers and public health professionals will be trained to deliver a high-intensity, evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment for nicotine dependence. This represents an expansion of the TTP approach, which was designed to leverage MD Anderson’s expertise and increase capacity in order to provide best-practice cessation services in Texas and beyond.

“We follow an evidence-based approach combined with our many years of testing and experience, which represents an effective balance producing an innovative and cutting edge clinical approach” says Maher Karam-Hage, M.D., professor of Behavioral Science and associate medical director of the TTP. “Unique to our program is our ability to share specific expertise in working with cancer patients and those with mental health disorders.”

Faculty and professionals from the TTP will provide clinical expertise in smoking cessation counseling and pharmacotherapy, and the EndTobacco program staff will offer their expertise in programmatic implementation and logistical support.

The EndTobacco program is an initiative of MD Anderson’s cancer prevention and control platform, which is part of the institution’s Moon Shots Program™, an ambitious effort to reduce cancer deaths by more rapidly developing and implementing advances in prevention, early detection and treatment based on scientific discoveries.

With successful implementation, Cinciripini hopes not only to train providers in tobacco cessation, but to inspire trainees to become tobacco cessation champions for their organizations and communities in order to continue making progress in reducing tobacco use nationwide.

The inaugural CTTTP training course of 4 days will be held at MD Anderson from August 15 to 18, 2017, with additional course scheduled quarterly. Find registration information available at www.mdanderson.org/conferences

This article originally appeared on MD Anderson’s Cancer Frontline blog 




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