Prevention

CTI works through a variety of initiatives to achieve the goal of reducing tobacco use and exposure. These evidence based strategies include prevention, provider education and treatment.

The statewide Tobacco Prevention Services initiative includes strategies implemented by the Center for Tobacco Independence and fourteen community-based sub-recipients, District Tobacco Prevention Partners (DTPP), across three focus areas: prevention of youth initiation; reducing exposure to secondhand smoke; and promotion of tobacco treatment through the Maine Tobacco HelpLine (MTHL).

Creating a smoke-free policy is a positive way to demonstrate an organization’s commitment to the health of those in the community. Target environments for smoke and tobacco-free policy change include:

  • Behavioral Health
  • Higher Education, including colleges, universities, and career and trade schools
  • Hospitals
  • K12 Schools
  • Lodging
  • Multi-Unit Housing
  • Municipalities
  • Youth-Serving Entities, including childcare facilities

Many of the CTI policy initiatives are implemented with resources under our Breathe Easy brand to provide support for creating areas free from secondhand smoke across Maine.

In addition to policy based strategies, the Tobacco Prevention initiative includes training and capacity building strategies, including:

Sidekicks

  • Currently nearly 9 out of 10 smokers started by age 18, among those youth who persist in smoking, a third will die prematurely. Once trained as a Sidekick, youth have the skills to hold respectful conversations with their peers about tobacco use, as well as other risky behaviors. The Sidekicks program gives youth the skills and confidence to support their peers, as well as a network of Adult Advisors and Adult Ambassadors as a resource for questions and additional support.

Nonclinical Outreach (NCO) with Social Services Providers and Animal Care and Welfare Organizations

  • NCO is designed to enhance DTPP engagement with social service providers across the State to ensure providers are asking about their client’s tobacco use and making referrals to evidence-based tobacco treatment using the MTHL. The QuitLink.com is an online referral platform where social service agency providers can make direct referrals to the MTHL on behalf of their clients in a matter of minutes.
  • Pet health can be a motivator for tobacco users to want to quit. DTPPs are partnering with Animal Care and Welfare Organizations, such as veterinary offices and animal shelters, to educate staff on the dangers of tobacco use and exposure and to provide resources that can be distributed to pet owners.