Breathe Free, Cleveland!
PRCHN Director Dr. Elaine A. Borawski and Associate Director Dr. Erika Trapl received a $100k award from the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center to conduct pilot work needed to develop an evidence-based, comprehensive action plan for reducing adult tobacco use across the city, which involves a new approach to providing referrals for local cessation support through the United Way's 2-1-1 Helpline.
Together with co-investigators Dr. Sarah Koopman-Gonzalez (PRCHN), Dr. Monica Webb Hooper (Case Cancer Center), Persis Sosiak, MPH, RN (Cleveland Department of Public Health) and Matthew Finley, CRS, CIRS (United Way 2-1-1), and members of the Healthy Cleveland's BreatheFree Committee, the team will conduct two projects:
interviews with 75 Cleveland smokers (or recent quitters) with the goal of
filling in the gaps we currently have in understanding the barriers to and
facilitators of intentions and quit attempt experiences of low-income
the capacity of United Way 2-1-1 to administer cessation referrals by
documenting their implementation process and conducting a qualitative
study of call experiences using in-depth interviews and a systematic audit
of calls for cessation referrals.
In addition, the group
will establish a Steering Committee with academic, clinical and community
representation that will guide the projects and help to develop the
comprehensive plan (with timeline and milestones) to be implemented over the
next 5-10 years, with the goal of reducing adult tobacco use in Cleveland
through improved implementation strategies, tailored marketing, and coordinated
Interested in participating in this initiative
or serving on the Steering Committee?
Please contact Elizabeth Frost at [email protected]
As we noted in
the August 2016 PRCHN Connections Director's Note,
our Center is committed to preventing and reducing tobacco use in Cleveland and
joined the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Cancer Moonshot in the bold call
to "cut the city [tobacco] rate in
half--at least." While the rates of cigarette smoking have been on the steady decline for more than four decades, rates remain stubbornly high among low income smokers, contributing to widening cancer health disparities. Across the city of Cleveland, adult tobacco use was over 38% in 2015 - more than twice the national rate of 17.5%. This pattern of higher rates of smoking among Cleveland's low-income residents is similar across the country for the lowest income Americans.
Research shows lower
income smokers are just as likely to attempt to quit as higher income
smokers, but are less likely to be successful in their attempt. In addition to
typical challenges to quitting, low-income smokers face barriers to cessation
linked to stressors associated with social, economic and environmental
challenges that are more common in lower income communities, such as unstable
housing, limited health care access or coverage, neighborhood crime, alcohol or
substance abuse, or domestic violence.
Cleveland provides a
natural laboratory within which to better understand the barriers to smoking
cessation among low-income individuals. Building on expertise developed
over the last 15 years, our PRCHN faculty and community partners
will develop and test intervention strategies that are transportable and
replicable in other contexts, ultimately contributing to a reduction in tobacco
use both locally and nationally.