Addiction and Mental Health Facilities Stay Away from Tobacco

In 2014, 70 percent of the 86 facilities reporting said that tobacco is not used on their properties – a big shift from 2010 when only 15 percent had indicated so.

The big jump in addictions and mental health facilities going tobacco-free shows “quite a cultural shift,” Kirsten Aird, chronic disease programs manager for the Public Health Division, told the Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee last week. “Historically and traditionally the approach has been ‘let’s address this addiction, alcohol, then deal with tobacco.’”

Among providers, 78 percent asked patients whether they smoked, but only 68 percent encouraged them to quit. Providers need to explore Nicotine replacement options and do more trainings, said OHA’s Sarah Hargand.

Only seven counties -- Clatsop, Multnomah, Hood River, Umatilla, Marion, Benton and Deschutes – do not allow tobacco on any of their facilities, while 12 other counties ban tobacco on some properties and seven counties and five tribes have policies that at least exceed the minimum standards of the Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act.

Among non-smokers, there is wide support for setting limits on how close stores that sell tobacco can be to schools, while less support to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products or prohibit tobacco discounts.

People also believe that the tobacco industry targets specific groups and has been dishonest in advertising their products, according to an evaluation of Oregon’s Tobacco Prevention Education Campaign that ran from December 2014-June of 2016.

The surveys show more agreement that the tobacco industry deliberately advertises tobacco to youth, and less agreement that the industry targets communities of color.

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