Answers About Tobacco

TFN E-News Update / August 2023

Gov. Jim Pillen Appoints Steve Corsi as CEO of DHHS

On Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023, Governor Jim Pillen announced his appointment of Dr. Steve Corsi as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Corsi will start Sept. 11. Corsi’s most recent role is acting CEO of the Central Wyoming Counseling Center.

Read the full press release

Corrective Statements

Beginning in July, major U.S. tobacco companies (Altria and its Philip Morris USA subsidiaries, R.J. Reynolds and ITG Brands) were required to begin posting signs at approximately 220,000 retail stores across the nation that sell cigarettes. This is a long-awaited result of a 2006 federal court case ruling in which major tobacco companies were found guilty of racketeering for deliberately misleading the public about the health risks of smoking and secondhand smoke and the addictive nature of their products. The signs are intended to correct the record on the topics the tobacco industry lied about and to prevent future fraud by the tobacco industry.

Read more about the history behind these corrective statements in The Verdict Is In: Findings from United States v. Philip Morris.

Learn more about corrective statements here

ARTICLE: Tobacco Quitlines May Help Exclusive Vapers Quit: An Analysis of Data From an Employer-Sponsored Quitline

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an article about the effectiveness of tobacco quitlines for vaping cessation in the journal, Preventing Chronic Disease.

Numerous studies have supported the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of quitlines for cigarette smoking cessation, but how effective they are for vaping cessation has not been established. The secondary analysis examined quitline data on participants in employer-sponsored quitlines in the US run by Optum, Inc to compare quit rates among callers who were exclusive vapers (n = 1,194) with those who were exclusive smokers (n = 22,845). Data was examined from the time of quitline enrollment, January 2017, through October 2020. Before adjusting for differences in demographics, quitline treatment engagement, and unadjusted quit rates, the quit rates for vapers were significantly higher. However, after adjusting for demographic and treatment engagement variables, six-month quit rates among vapers did not differ significantly from rates among smokers.

Read the full article

CDC Releases New PLACES Data: Local Data For Better Health

The CDC’s Division of Population Health released PLACES data that includes years of new data across 36 health-related measures. Current smoking among adults aged 18 years or older is one of the health risk behaviors measures.

In total, this release includes 36 measures—29 based on Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2021 data and seven based on 2020 BRFSS data (all teeth lost, dental visits, mammograms, cervical cancer screening, colorectal cancer screening, core preventive services among older adults, and sleeping less than seven hours).

PLACES provides health data for small areas across the country, which public health professionals can use to identify the burden and geographic distribution of health measures in their areas and then focus efforts to create healthier and more equitable communities.

PLACES enables retrieval, visualization, and exploration of uniformly defined local area data in the 50 states and Washington, DC for conditions, behaviors, and risk factors that have a substantial effect on population health.

Access PLACES: Local Data for Better Health

REPORT: National and State Data Briefs Highlight Trends in E-Cigarette Sales

The CDC Foundation has posted its most recent National and State Data Briefs highlighting national and state trends in e-cigarette sales from January 2018 through June 2023.

These data briefs provide an update on trends in unit sales of e-cigarettes in the U.S. by product and flavor type. In addition, the national brief now lists the 10 top-selling e-cigarette brands and their combined market share, and the brief includes a figure with dollar sales of e-cigarettes.

  • Data Brief Issue 25 highlights national trends in e-cigarette sales from January 2018 through June 2023
  • Data Brief Issue 10 highlights trends in e-cigarette unit sales in selected states. Data are presented from January 2018 through June 2023

DOCUMENTARY: Black Lives/Black Lungs: The Journey of a Stolen Leaf

Six years after his seminal short film “Black Lives/Black Lungs” documented the decades-long campaign transforming menthol into a Black cigarette, filmmaker and former Truth Initiative fellow Lincoln Mondy released today his follow-up documentary exposing the tobacco industry’s manipulative efforts to skirt federal regulations. “Black Lives/Black Lungs: The Journey of a Stolen Leaf” unravels the industry’s forward-looking strategy of protecting profits, subverting regulations, and maintaining influence through the promotion of e-cigarettes to hook a new generation to nicotine.

Learn more about Lincoln Mondy and the development of “Black Lives/Black Lungs: The Journey of a Stolen Leaf.”


Apply for the Truth Initiative Tobacco/Vape-Free College Program

The Truth Initiative Tobacco/Vape-Free College Program is offering grants of up to $20 thousand to colleges and universities to support the adoption and implementation of a 100 percent tobacco/vape-free policy. Grantees of the Tobacco/Vape-Free College Program receive guidance through webinars, an in-person training and one-on-one consultations throughout the grant period. Since 2015, the Tobacco/Vape-Free College Program has provided funding to more than 220 colleges, universities and college systems to advocate for and adopt a 100 percent tobacco-free policy.

Colleges and universities that have smoke- or tobacco-free policies that do not include e-cigarettes may still apply. To combat the vaping public health crisis, Truth Initiative is offering grants of up to $10 thousand to higher education institutions to strengthen their 100 percent smoke or tobacco-free policies by adding e-cigarettes.

The following Nebraska schools are eligible for the $20 thousand grant:

  • Bryan College of Health Sciences
  • Southeast Community College
  • Little Priest Tribal College
  • Nebraska Indian Community College
  • Chadron State College
  • Concordia University-Nebraska
  • Doane University
  • Hastings College
  • Midland University
  • Nebraska Wesleyan University
  • University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Wayne State College

Get more information on how to apply

Roosevelt S.

Like many people who smoke, Roosevelt started experimenting with cigarettes in his teens. But his addiction became entrenched during his time in the military. Nearly 30 years later, damage from smoking began to take its toll. At age 45, Roosevelt experienced a heart attack that landed him in the hospital for a month. In order to repair the damage to his heart caused by smoking, doctors inserted stents into his heart. When that wasn’t enough, he had bypass surgery — six bypasses in all.

“A heart attack feels like a hand inside squeezing your heart,” he says. “It’s like the worst charley horse you can imagine — in your heart.” Roosevelt found cigarettes to be so addictive that even after his surgery he continued to smoke — but he noticed an ominous difference.

Now age 51, Roosevelt has been smoke-free for three years, but he’s had to give up his career as a commercial plumber because his heart is no longer strong enough for the strenuous activity such work requires. He says the love, support — and constant nagging — of his family was the key to him being able to quit smoking.

Read more about Roosevelt’s story

WEBINAR: Building Equity: Creating Change From Within Health Systems
August 24, 2023 | 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Join the Asian Pacific Partners Empowerment, Advocacy, and Leadership for a webinar focused on organizational change and policy strategies in health systems. Speakers will discuss building infrastructure to support adopting and embedding equitable organizational policy change for tobacco and tobacco-related cancer control in health departments, healthcare organizations, national nonprofit organizations and community partners.


Tobacco Cessation and Behavioral Health Workgroup
August 28, 2023 | 2:30 – 3:30 PM CT
During this meeting, individuals will focus on the workgroup’s mission to collaborate, share resources and align goals across the state of Nebraska, with the aim of increasing tobacco cessation programming in behavioral health services.

Email to register

WEBINAR: Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems & Adolescents & Young Adults
September 12, 2023 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CT
Through a presentation by Jim Pavlik, participants will look at the key moments in the shift of the tobacco use landscape from conventional cigarettes to Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems in adolescents and young adults. Key differences in the motivations young people have to vape compared to older adults as well as unique difficulties in assessing and treating nicotine dependence in those younger vapers will be discussed.
A follow up email containing a zoom link will be provided after registration.


Nebraska Tobacco Disparities Partnership Meeting
September 13, 2023 | 2:30-3:30 PM CT
The Nebraska Tobacco Disparities Partnership is a vibrant network of people and organizations from across the state that focuses on reducing tobacco-related disparities among Nebraska’s diverse populations. The Nebraska Tobacco Disparities Partnership works to provide the information, resources and support that these populations need to prevent youth from using tobacco, and to help current tobacco users quit.

Email to register

SAVE THE DATE: National Conference on Tobacco or Health
August 26-28, 2025 | Chicago, Illinois
The National Conference on Tobacco or Health is one of the largest, long-standing gatherings for top United States tobacco control professionals.

This convening attracts a diversity of attendees committed to best practices and policies to reduce tobacco use, which is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States.

Learn More About The National Conference On Tobacco or Health

Tobacco Disparities Reframing Project
OPEN NOW | Virtual
The CDC Office on Smoking and Health’s training resource to help the tobacco control community use new evidence-based framing and messaging.

Find It All Here

Free Resources Available through the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline Order Form

This online order form provides the option to preview, order, download and print free and updated promotional resources such as brochures, window clings, magnets, information sheets and more with information about the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline. Most materials are available in both Spanish and English. Please order or use these free materials as needed.

View NEW Nebraska Tobacco Quitline resources: