Tobacco-Free Mississippi

This project is a partnership between the CHCAMS and the MS State Department of Health Office of Tobacco Control (OTC). Program funding and support is provided by OTC.

The OTC mission is to promote and protect the health of all Mississippians by reducing tobacco-related disease and death. OTC program components include:

  1. State & Community Interventions,
  2. Tobacco Cessation Interventions,
  3. Health Communication Interventions, and
  4. Surveillance & Evaluation.

The Purpose of the Tobacco-Free Mississippi project is to strengthen statewide capacity to conduct clinical tobacco cessation programs and activities. A fundamental philosophy is that people are more likely to follow through with advice to cease tobacco use when it comes from healthcare providers.


Tobacco Statistics (from MSDH/OTC)

  • Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States.
  • Tobacco-related illnesses claim 480,000 lives in the United States each year.
  • In Mississippi, 4,700 adults die each year from smoking, and 192,000 children are exposed to secondhand smoke at home
  • Tobacco use is strongly associated with increased rates of morbidity and mortality (Heart disease, lung disease, cancer, etc.).
  • Mississippi has one of the highest state smoking rates (at 27%) of adults who smoke, compared to the Healthy People 2020 goal of 12%.

Project Design

The project design features health center staff training to improve clinical knowledge and skills to effectively deliver brief evidence-based tobacco screening and assessment. The clinical approach is based on The Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. This curriculum is based on the 5A’s technique: 1) Ask, 2) Advise, 3) Assess, 4) Assist, & 5) Arrange. The program also embraces physician-directed use of prescribed cessation medication, additional patient education provided in clinical settings, and health center patient referrals to a cessation program such as the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline and the ACT Center for Tobacco Treatment, Education and Research.

Target Population

The project’s target audience will be all patients who are seen in health centers who use tobacco products.  At patient intake, all patients will be asked if they use tobacco products.  The response of the patient will be recorded in the patient’s health record.  Those patients indicating current use of tobacco products will be offered tobacco impact information and cessation counseling.  For adult patients expressing a sincere desire and readiness to quit tobacco, referrals will be made to the Mississippi Quitline or the ACT Center for Tobacco Treatment, Education, and Research where nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) may be offered to assist patients with quitting tobacco.  Adolescent patients who respond positively to tobacco use questions will also have cessation services provided but under certain circumstances may be required to provide a parent or guardian acknowledgement and procedural waiver form before receiving some services (NRTs, for example).  Each tobacco cessation case will be handled according to the guidance provided in The Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence.

Key FQHC Activities

  1. Provide tobacco cessation training via Lunch-n-Learn training events at health centers.
  2. Provide tobacco cessation training and information at CHCAMS events such as the CHCAMS Annual Conference, the CHCAMS Annual Legislative Event, and the CHCAMS Spring and Fall Clinical Conferences.
  3. Promote the Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) training to health center leadership and their tobacco cessation counselors.
  4. Create and distribute a quarterly tobacco cessation newsletter to all CHCAMS health centers, CHCAMS Staff, and all other interested partners.
  5. Provide tobacco cessation training designed for health center staff addressing special population needs, including women, women of child-bearing age, youth, the homeless, and those with behavioral health diagnoses.
  6. Promote tobacco cessation via available social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, the CHCAMS website, and other available sources.
  7. Promote the use of the 5’s approach to tobacco cessation intervention.
  8. Provide educational information on the dangers of second-hand and third-hand smoke.
  9. Administer the Mississippi Baby & Me Program under the direction of the Office of Tobacco Control and the National Baby & Me Program Organization, as an effort to improve birth outcomes through tobacco cessation interventions pre- and post-delivery.

Anticipated Impact

  1. The health and well-being of more Mississippians will be protected by CHCAMS and its member health centers tobacco cessation activities, resulting in a reduction of tobacco-related disease and death.
  2. Health center staff will receive the most up-to-date news and training associated with tobacco cessation.
  3. Mississippi will see an increase in the number of healthy babies being delivered at higher birth weights and at full-term because expectant mothers quit tobacco before or during their pregnancy.