Health Initiative targets smoking - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Health Initiative targets smoking

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

The La Crosse Area Health Initiative hosted a training session that targeted the need to include stopping tobacco use when treating patients for mental illness or substance abuse.   According to the Wisconsin State Tobacco Prevention program, 8 out of 10 people in treatment for substance use also smoke.  Additionally, 70% of people with mental illness are more likely to smoke.

Dr. Bruce Christiansen of the UW Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, "With the exception of an acute crisis, there's plenty of evidence that if you're being treated for alcoholism, your outcome for alcoholism itself/risk of relapse is less if you also quit smoking at the same time."

Health Educator Judi Zabel noted that many people in treatment do want to quit, but often behavioral health providers are not trained in this particular area. 

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