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Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) will host a one-day conference providing the latest information on smoking cessation programs and methods for providers to make them more accessible to a wider variety of populations. Titled “Smoking Cessation: Offering the Appropriate Program,” the no-cost workshop will take place Wednesday, June 6, 2007 at the Veterans Administration (VA) Connecticut Healthcare System campus in Newington. This workshop is part of the DPH’s Institute for Tobacco Education and Training and is provided in collaboration with the VA Connecticut Healthcare system.

Speakers will include Dr. Judith L. Cooney, researcher at the VA Healthcare System and also Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Several of Dr. Cooney’s colleagues from the Newington and West Haven VA sites will also speak. In addition, Dr. Benjamin Toll, Dr. Lucile Burgo-Black and Dr. Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin from Yale University will present sessions, as well as smoking cessation providers from St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport, who will introduce a promising teen curriculum.

Programs to assist people to quit smoking will be discussed from a variety of perspectives. Speakers will explore the introduction of cessation into different settings such as primary care, alcohol and other substance abuse treatment settings; and share successful approaches with diverse groups of people such as weight-concerned smokers. Staff from the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services will review the success of recent sting operations to determine merchant compliance with youth tobacco purchase laws, discuss ways the tobacco industry markets tobacco products near schools, and methods used to deflect the tobacco industry’s influence in communities.

Renée Coleman-Mitchell, MPH, chief of the DPH Health Education, Management and Surveillance section said, “this workshop will provide a variety of treatment, health care and prevention professionals with tools that they can bring back to their clients/patients to increase successful cessation attempts.”

Smoking kills approximately 400,000 people per year, more than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined. Approximately 8.6 million people suffer from smoking-caused conditions, and taxpayers’ yearly federal/state tax burden from smoking- caused spending exceeds $55 billion. Tobacco prevention programs are effective in reducing smoking levels among adults and children, which in turn helps states to realize significant declines in health care costs. For information on Connecticut initiatives and other statistics, visit the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s website at http://www.dph.state.ct.us.

Persons interested in attending the conference, or who would like further information, may call Wheeler Clinic at (860) 793-2164 or e-mail dwiniarski@wheelerclinic.org by May 31, 2007. Registration is free and includes conference materials. Online registration is available at http://www.ctclearinghouse.org/registration. Seating is limited and reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Continuing Education Credits will be available.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.dph.state.ct.us or call (860) 509-7270.
 

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