Answers About Tobacco

TFN E-News Update / May 2024

New Counter Tobacco Evidence Summary:
Oral Nicotine Products at the Point of Sale

The term “Oral Nicotine Products” refers to a class of products that includes nicotine pouches, lozenges, discs, chews, gum, sticks, and other non-combustible products containing nicotine that is absorbed in the mouth. Some of the most widely known brands include ZYN, Velo and On. Sales of nicotine pouch-style products have skyrocketed in the last several years. These products are similar in design to the smokeless tobacco product “snus,” but they do not contain tobacco leaf. Learn more about these products, how they’re marketed at the point of sale, policy options, and more in Counter Tobacco’s new evidence summary.


NEW RESOURCE: Addressing Disparities and Increasing the Quality of Tobacco Treatment for African Americans

The National Behavioral Health Network (NBHN) has shared a new resource, Addressing Disparities and Increasing the Quality of Tobacco Treatment for African Americans.

This brief infographic highlights the increased risk for tobacco exposure and use, emphasizing mentholated cigarettes among the Black and African American community, and offers six access-driven approaches to addressing this disparity.


From Data to Action: National, State & Local Efforts to End Menthol and Other Flavored Commercial Tobacco Product Us

On May 30, 2024, the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, in collaboration with public health partners, released a Preventing Chronic Disease Collection, “From Data to Action: National, State & Local Efforts to End Menthol and Other Flavored Commercial Tobacco Product Use.

This collection features a guest editorial and nine articles that enhance understanding of public health’s role in reducing tobacco-related diseases and deaths, highlight menthol and other flavored tobacco surveillance data, and provide examples of state and local activities implemented in this area. The collection shows public health’s role in educating communities about evidence-based interventions, including policies, to create healthier and easily accessible communities, particularly among those who have been burdened by menthol and flavored tobacco.


ARTICLE: Employment Characteristics and Tobacco
Product Use, U.S., 2021

On May 8, 2024, the CDC released the following tobacco-related research brief in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine: Employment Characteristics and Tobacco Product Use, U.S., 2021

This study used 2021 National Health Interview Survey data to describe the prevalence of current tobacco use by employment characteristics and occupation group among U.S. working adults. The study found that current tobacco use varied according to employment characteristics and occupation group.

  • Of an estimated 149 million working adults in the United States, 20.0% used tobacco in 2021.
  • Among working adults, tobacco use was highest among workers in the natural resources (industries including farming, fishing, and forestry), construction, and maintenance occupation groups.
  • Tobacco use was also high among workers who were employed at workplaces that did not offer health insurance, had no paid sick leave available, worked a rotating or “some other” work shift, experienced work schedule instability, or worked while physically ill in the past 3 months.
  • Tobacco use was significantly lower among government employees, as compared to people working in the private sector; this could be because of the availability of smoke-free policies and comprehensive insurance coverage for cessation in some government workspaces.

New CDC State Tobacco-Related Disparities Dashboard

The CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health has launched a State Tobacco-Related Disparities Dashboard. The Tobacco Disparities Dashboard is an intuitive visualization platform, allowing for the quick exploration of cigarette smoking prevalence and identification of related disparities in states by age, disability, education, employment, income, mental health, race & ethnicity, sex, and urban vs. rural. The dashboard is valuable for state partners, particularly those with limited resources or analytical capacity. The dashboard will enable users to swiftly analyze data to identify opportunities for improvement and accelerate data into action to reduce cigarette smoking among specific groups.


FDA Updates

  • On May 30, the FDA announced it is seeking civil money penalties (CMPs) from nine brick-and-mortar retailers and one online retailer for the sale of Elf Bar, a popular youth-appealing e-cigarette brand.
  • On June 6, the FDA provided an update on the status of the agency’s review of the premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) submitted by JUUL Labs, Inc.
  • On June 10, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FDA announced the creation of a federal multi-agency task force to combat the illegal distribution and sale of e-cigarettes.
  • On June 13, the FDA announced the issuance of warning letters to six online retailers for selling unauthorized e-liquid products from the Bad Drip brand that imitate prescription drug bottles.
  • On June 12, 2024, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against Boosted LLC (who also does business as Boosted E-Juice, Boosted, and Live Boosted) and Cory Vigil, owner of Boosted LLC, which prohibits Boosted LLC and Mr. Vigil from manufacturing, selling, or distributing any new tobacco products until they meet certain requirements.
  • On June 10, in partnership with the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC), the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) released the Tobacco Implementation Guide – a new resource for stakeholders to use to help facilitate tobacco product research and scientific review.
  • On June 21, the FDA authorized the marketing of four menthol-flavored e-cigarette products in the United States through the PMTA pathway.

Community Health Worker Online Health-Related Courses

MCD Global Health and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced that all Nebraska users now have free, unlimited open access to the Community Health Worker Online Health-Related Courses. Topics of these courses include heart disease, asthma, diabetes, cancer and dementia.

In the eLearning portal, you can now access:

  • 13 basic chronic disease modules
  • 11 advanced cardiovascular health (CVH) modules, including:
    – Cardiovascular Disease Treatment (five new modules)
    – Prevention and Management of Cardiovascular Disease (six new modules)

Registration Instructions:

  1. Visit the eLearning portal
  2. Select “Register Now”
  3. Fill in the registration details with your Nebraska zip code to waive the fees–no access code required!

For more information or questions, please email chwtraining@mcd.org.


Elizabeth B.

Elizabeth, age 62, started smoking menthol cigarettes at the age of 18 because her friends and co-workers smoked. Within a year, Elizabeth was smoking about a pack and a half a day.

When Elizabeth was 42 years old, she had a stroke. Doctors advised her to quit smoking immediately, but Elizabeth continued to struggle with nicotine addiction for another 10 years. She tried to quit multiple times using various strategies. Then, when she was 52, something clicked. She set a quit date, threw away her ashtrays, changed routines connected to smoking, and used nicotine patches. Using a combination of strategies, Elizabeth finally quit smoking for good.

Two weeks later, Elizabeth started dating her future husband, Stephen B. The pair enjoyed taking long walks together, until Elizabeth started experiencing numbness in her feet and cramping in her calves. She was diagnosed with smoking-related peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition in which her arteries had narrowed and blocked the flow of blood to her legs. Just four months after she and Stephen married, Elizabeth had to have major surgery to restore blood flow to her legs.

In more recent years, Elizabeth has developed kidney cancer. But she feels that PAD is her biggest challenge to everyday living. She can no longer take the stairs. Walking is painful but critical to saving her legs from amputation, so she and Stephen make taking walks a daily priority.

Elizabeth shares her personal experience with smoking-related diseases and provides support to others who are struggling with PAD. “If I had never smoked that first cigarette, I may not have lit the fuse for PAD,” she said. “My goal is to help other young people never start smoking.


National Tribal Tobacco Conference
June 27-28, 2024 | Minneapolis, MN
This conference will address the traditional uses of tobacco and commercial tobacco impact in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities across the United States, and will emphasize AI/AN persons returning to a healthy relationship with tobacco, the importance of creating health equity, and provide an opportunity for networking and collaboration.

Tobacco Cessation and Behavioral Health Workgroup
July 29, 2024 | 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. CT
During these quarterly virtual meetings, individuals will focus on the workgroup’s mission to collaborate, establish projects for the workgroup, share resources and align goals across the state of Nebraska, with the aim of increasing tobacco cessation programming in behavioral health services.

American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation Clearing the Air Institute
Oct. 14-17, 2024 | Philadelphia, PA
Clearing the Air® Institute focuses on smoke-free air and gaps in protections, and features specific information on smoke-free workplaces, secondhand smoke and e-cigarette aerosol, multi-unit housing, marijuana, casinos, menthol and flavors, colleges, and more.

Nebraska DHHS Division of Public Health, Office of Health Disparities: Eliminating Health Disparities Conference
Oct. 16-17, 2024 | York, NE
The Eliminating Health Disparities in Nebraska conference will share successful programming and services which address and reduce health disparities in Nebraska in the areas of physical/mental health, social/spiritual well-being, community conditions, root causes, and organization transformation skills.

SAVE THE DATE: National Conference on Tobacco or Health
Aug. 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.

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.


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 Spanish and English. Please order or use these free materials as needed.


Upcoming Monthly Health Observances and Awareness Days

July

  • Disability Pride Month
  • National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month
  • Pow-wow Season (generally runs June through August)
  • Independence Day, July 4, 2024
  • National Parents Day, July 28, 2024

August

  • Back-to-School Season
  • Pow-wow Season (generally runs June through August)
  • National Girlfriends Day, August 1, 2024
  • World Lung Cancer Day, August 1, 2024
  • National Health Center Week, August 4-10, 2024
  • National Fresh Breath Day, August 6, 2024
  • National Dog Day, August 26, 2024
  • National Beach Day, August 30, 2024

Nebraska Tobacco Quitline Offers Resources for Healthcare Providers

Accredited courses are available online through the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline for providers looking to receive CME, CNE or CPE credits. Every year, providers in Nebraska support patients quitting tobacco by referring them to the Quitline. The courses offered help providers discuss how cessation can increase quit success and reduce the risks associated with tobacco use, including vaping. Several courses are offered and cover a variety of topics, such as Tobacco Use Disparities for People with Behavioral Health Conditions, Myths About Quitting, Vaping and E-Cigarette Devices, and more.

Additionally, providers can refer patients using the new online web referral option or the updated fax referral form. Go online to access tools, resources, and education modules, plus the web and fax referrals for providers ready to help patients quit, at QuitNow.ne.gov/providers.


Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit QuitNow.ne.gov to reach a trained quit coach, get access to free quit-smoking medication, and make a plan to quit tobacco for good.