Special Initiatives

Special Initiatives

Special initiatives resources are intended to assist Regional Pennsylvania Tobacco-Free Coalition (RPTFC) members and residents with the identification and elimination of tobacco related health disparities throughout Pennsylvania. Promoting tobacco control efforts in partnership with organizations that serve populations experiencing tobacco-related health disparities can be a helpful way to leverage existing infrastructure and experience.
Ask Advise Refer: Brief Intervention Model

The American Lung Association in Pennsylvania offers free, on-site and web-based Ask, Advise, Refer trainings to educate staff to ask about tobacco use, advise patients on quitting and refer patients to tobacco cessation services. This evidence-based and efficient intervention should only take 3-5 minutes. It is effective, because patients are twice as likely to try quitting with advice from a clinician. No other single intervention will make a bigger difference in saving lives and avoiding the chronic diseases associated with tobacco product use.

Asthma

Asthma is a chronic or lifelong disease that can be serious—even life-threatening. There is no cure for asthma. The good news is that with proper management, you or your loved one with asthma can live a normal, healthy life. The more you can learn about asthma, the better you and your loved ones can manage living with this disease, making the most of every day and maintaining a high quality of life. Visit Lung.org/asthma to find more resources related to asthma.

The American Lung Association offers various asthma education resources on lung.org, including the following:

Chronic Disease Integration: Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)

The Center for Disease Control-led National Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence-based lifestyle change program for preventing Type 2 diabetes.

The year-long program helps participants make real lifestyle changes such as eating healthier, including physical activity into their daily lives, and improving problem-solving and coping skills.

Participants meet with a trained lifestyle coach and a small group of people who are making lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes. Sessions are weekly for six months and then monthly for six months.

This proven program can help people with prediabetes and/ or at risk for Type 2 diabetes make achievable and realistic lifestyle changes and cut their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58%.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a long-term lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. The disease affects millions of Americans and is the third leading cause of disease-related death in the U.S. The good news is COPD is often preventable and treatable. Visit Lung.org/COPD for more resources and tools to help you understand COPD, manage treatment and lifestyle changes, find support and take action.

Join a Better Breathers Club today, to connect with others living with lung disease, as well as education and support.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Integration

Health systems can integrate an eligibility assessment for lung cancer screening and
tobacco cessation programming into Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to increase identification and referral of “high risk” patients for diagnostic or preventive services. 

Lung Cancer

Anyone can get lung cancer. Lung cancer happens when cells in the lung mutate or change. Various factors can cause this mutation (a permanent change in the DNA sequence of a gene) to happen. Most often, this change in lung cells happens when people breathe in dangerous, toxic substances. Even if you were exposed to these substances many years ago, you are still at risk for lung cancer. Visit Lung.org/lungcancer for more information.

To learn more about the causes and risks factors of lung cancer, such as smoking, radon, hazardous chemicals and more, visit the Lung Association’s website.

Data show that screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) reduces the risk of dying from lung cancer in the high-risk population studied. Other screening tests such as chest X-rays and sputum cytology have not been found to be effective and are not recommended for screening. To learn more about the American Lung Association’s Lung Cancer Screening Resources and see if you are eligible for a screening, visit our website at Lung.org/savedbythescan.

Join the Pennsylvania Cancer Coalition! The Pennsylvania Cancer Coalition (PCC) is a statewide cancer coalition working to implement evidence-based approaches to control cancer and strengthen partnerships by exchanging information and identifying and utilizing resources.

Radon

You can’t see or smell radon, and it can build up inside homes, buildings and schools to dangerous levels. Exposure to high levels of radon can cause lung cancer. Learn about radon, how it affects lung health and what you can do about it by visiting Lung.org/radon.

The American Lung Association’s Radon Basics course is a free one-hour interactive online learning program designed to help people understand more about radon, a radioactive cancer-causing gas commonly found indoors at dangerous levels. This course is designed to be appropriate for anyone who wants to learn more about radon and about how to test for it and fix problems, including home buyers, real estate professionals and home inspectors concerned about safe and healthy housing.

Rural Health

Rural communities face many risk factors that contribute to health disparities, including geographic isolation, lower socio-economic status, and more, which lead to a higher prevalence of tobacco use. There are many challenges to successfully delivering cessation programing to rural communities that generally have limited resources. In response to these challenges, Lung Association developed a Rural Health Plan in 2017 to provide cessation services to the rural communities where traditional methods have experienced limited success. This plan prioritized using a targeted social media campaign as the primary form of outreach to promote services. These services include no-cost nicotine replacement therapy, free statewide tobacco cessation telephonic quitline, and in-person cessation programs.

Tobacco Use and Pregnancy

Every year in the United States, more than 480,000 people die from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, making smoking the leading cause of preventable death in this country. The American Lung Association in Pennsylvania has free tobacco cessation resources for your community – specifically for pregnant women and mothers. Smoking increases the risk of birth defects, premature labor and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. So, as you know, supporting women of child-bearing age and pregnant women with quitting tobacco is so important.

When you are pregnant, you want the best for your baby. When you stop smoking, your baby will get more oxygen, even after just one day of not smoking. There is less risk your baby will be born too early. The PA Free Quitline offers FREE incentives for pregnant and postpartum women looking to quit tobacco. The PA Pregnancy Protocol outlines how to get enrolled in the program today! The Pregnancy Packet in English and Spanish includes materials to promote the PA Free Quitline Pregnancy Incentive Program. Please email Julie Bartol to order pregnancy packets to use in your community.

Additional Resources

  • Visit the American Lung Association’s website
  • Facilitators are able to access a catalog of all print literature that is available, view pricing and place an order for FFS materials through our new print store. Please submit prior to the start of your clinic, preferable two full weeks before.

  • Learn more about Live Healthy PA, encompassing tobacco data and resources from Pennsylvania’s DOH

Read the announcement concerning a new, national anti-vaping curriculum providing youth with facts about e-cigarettes and resources to quit, called Vaping: Know the Truth. 

Vaping: Know the Truth will help guide teachers and empower teens who vape to quit, or to never start in the first place. The curriculum will be available to schools across the country. 

  • Vaping: Know the Truth Flyer
    Describes vaping prevention and resources to quit.
  • This is Quitting Flyer
    A free, anonymous, text message, quit vaping program from truth®. Partnership opportunities to customize This is Quitting with your tobacco-control programs are available.

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This project is funded by a grant through
the PA Department of Health.

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