Tobacco Control

Tobacco use is a leading cause of cancer.  People who use tobacco products are at an increased risk of getting cancer.  There is no safe level of tobacco use which is why the UVA Cancer Center has a multimodal approach at tobacco control.  From prevention worth educating our youth to providing innovative tobacco cessation programs, the UVA Cancer Center is dedicated to ending tobacco use in our communities. Below are just a few examples of tobacco programs our team has worked on.

Break Free from Tobacco

Smoking rates in rural Appalachia are about 25% higher than neighboring urban areas and there is a lack of community based cessation programs available to those interested in quitting.  To address this issue, the UVA Cancer Center worked with Southwest Virginia Community Health System and the local health department to implement a community based cessation program called, Break Free.

The program follows the Ask-Advise-Connect method of cessation.  The physician will ask about tobacco use, advise patients on the importance of quitting, and connect them the Break Free program.  Break Free offers individual in person and telephone based counseling, cessation medication support all provided by behavioral health coordinators at the medical clinic.

The program maintains a 25% quit rate at the end of the program.  Participants’ nicotine dependence scores were show to decrease significantly from 3.14 pre-intervention to 1.86 post intervention.  For those participants who didn’t quit, many saw drastic reductions in their tobacco use with the average number of cigarettes smoked per day dropping from 23.6 pre intervention to 3.8 post intervention.

Youth and Nicotine Use Toolkit
Tobacco Toolkit

Developed by the Tobacco Free Community Coalition as a resource for research, school curriculum, parent education and cessation resources.

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Since the introduction of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in 2006, the United States has seen a rapid increase of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices use among our youth. The UVA Cancer Center in collaboration with the Tobacco Free Community Coalition (TFCC) created the Youth Tobacco and Nicotine Use Toolkit in response to the community and schools concern for more information and resources pertaining to ENDS.

The Youth Tobacco Use Toolkit provides resources for addressing youth ENDS use and aims to prevent middle and high school students’ use of tobacco and nicotine. Parents, teachers, school administrators, and students can use this toolkit as a resource for research, school curriculum, parent education, and cessation resources.

New electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes and JUULs, have presented challenges to the steady decrease in youth tobacco use more challenging. The design of ENDS has continued to evolve over time. The most current ENDS are sleek, emit limited odor, and can be easily hidden. Flavors, like fruit and candy make them appealing to youth.

In this toolkit, TFCC provides information on:

  • The definitions of current electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)
  • Data demonstrating the surge in youth ENDS/e-cigarette use
  • Overview on other tobacco products
  • Virginia legislation regarding tobacco
  • Resources and tools for Parents, Schools, and Students
  • And more!
Youth Tobacco Presentations
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Interested in hosting a presentation on tobacco and vaping in your community?

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The UVA Cancer Center in collaboration with the Tobacco Free Community Coalition have developed a train the trainer module for youth tobacco.  This module is in response to Virginia Legislation HB1881- Vaping Prevention Education in Schools.  As of July 1, 2019 the Virginia Foundation for Health Youth must develop educational materials concerning health and safety risks of using tobacco and e-cigarettes.  This education must be distributed to every elementary and secondary school in Virginia.  Given the complexity and every changing landscape of tobacco use, we have developed a supplementary training that can provide more context to the education that must be delivered in public schools.

Our trained staff can present to teachers, students, PTAs or general community about the harmful effect of tobacco and vaping products.

Tobacco Policy

Tobacco Free UVA

UVA Cancer Center has spearheaded a workgroup to tackle the current tobacco landscape on Grounds at UVA.  In partnership with faculty, staff and students the workgroup is reviewing currently policies and exploring opportunities to support the health of our UVA community.

Current UVA Tobacco Landscape (pdf)

Tobacco Free Higher Education

In April 2019, the inaugural Tobacco Free Higher Education Summit was held in Richmond, Virginia.  UVA Cancer Center in collaboration with VCU Massey Cancer Center led the day long Summit which brought together 20 higher education institutions and 98 attendees from across Virginia and beyond.

Check out the results of our 2019 Summit (pdf)