1. What do you mean by “behavioral health”?

By behavioral health we mean mental health and/or substance use disorders.

2. I use tobacco, what can I do to get help?

Talk to your provider about treatment options and consider a tobacco treatment medication. There is considerable evidence that using of one of the seven approved medications (nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler, nasal spray; bupropion (Wellbutrin) or varenicline (Chantix) increases your chance of successfully quitting by two to three times. Most insurance programs, including NY Medicaid, cover the cost of these medications. Nicotine replacement medication can also be used during situations when you’re unable to smoke (like riding the bus or at the movies) and can provide relief for tobacco withdrawal symptoms. In fact, use of these medications does not require quitting and can be helpful even for people who are trying to reduce their tobacco use. Talk to your health care team.

3. I’m someone interested in learning more about tobacco, but I don’t work in the field of behavioral health. Can I still register for TCTTAC?

Unfortunately, no. TCTTAC offers training only to behavioral health staff who work daily with people using tobacco so they can better serve this population with treatment of tobacco use disorder. However, any member of the public is welcome to use the TCTTAC site for ongoing learning, information, and resources.

4. I work in behavioral health and I would love to get registered and learn more. Can I just register myself, even if my agency isn’t involved?

Unfortunately, no. At TCTTAC we work within organizations to build up a critical mass of staff who feel equipped and confident to implement treatment for tobacco use disorder for the NYC behavioral health population. For that reason, we ask that those with decision-making capacity in organizations select multiple staff to enroll for training and technical assistance activities with us.

5. My agency is located outside of NYC. Can we still register for TCTTAC if we’re willing to travel in for in-person learning events?

At this time TCTTAC is focused solely on providing training and technical assistance to behavioral health agencies located in any of the five boroughs of New York City.

6. Can I earn continuing education credit for participating with TCTTAC?

Yes. Training for clinical staff offers the following credit:

  • As of 8/12/19 this course provides 10.5 Contact Hours of live in-person study for Social Work and Mental Health Counselor CE.
Center for Practice Innovations is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0118.
  • Center for Practice Innovations is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0037.
  • As of 7/23/20 this course provides 10.5 CASAC/CPP/CPS education and training clock hours which satisfies CASAC Renewal; CPP Renewal; CPP Section 1; CPS Renewal; CPS Section 1.

This training is provided under New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Education and Training Provider Certification Number 1007. Training under a New York State OASAS Provider Certification is acceptable for meeting all or part of the CASAC/CPP/CPS education and training requirements.

CME: Original Approval: 6/22/20
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) through the joint providership of the Bureau of Psychiatric Services and Research Institute Support (BPSRIS) and Center for Practice Innovations (CPI). BPSRIS is accredited by MSSNY to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Bureau of Psychiatric Services and Research Institute Support designates this live activity for a maximum of 10.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

7. Why are you called the Tobacco Cessation Training and Technical Assistance Center, since during training you talk about the need to avoid terms like “cessation” or “quit” that could make people who smoke feel pressured?

TCTTAC recognizes that not everyone who uses tobacco is ready to quit, and so we train staff in the Stages of Change model to meet people who smoke where they actually are instead of saying, “You have to quit or else!” Realistically, it takes 4 to 7 quit attempts before people can sustain quitting, and it’s important to offer support no matter how long it takes to treat tobacco use disorder. However, we also recognize that there is really no safe amount of toxic chemicals for people to ingest when they smoke or use tobacco products, even when they’ve cut back considerably. For that reason, we use cessation in our name because we hope that sooner or later, everybody gets there.

8. I see that TCTTAC offers technical assistance. Does that mean I can call you if my laptop or wifi isn’t working?

Great question. No, please do not call us for any IT issues you may be experiencing! Technical assistance might sound related to fixing computers but it’s actually quite different. It encompasses the activities and support offered to ensure that skills learned in a training are implemented in your daily practice. Sometimes people attend trainings that have great information, but once they’re back in their offices, they never open the manual again! Technical assistance is designed to help people continually use and improve upon the lessons and skills they take away from training.

9. Is any of my personal information stored on the TCTTAC site?

The site employs Google Analytics to track and analyze traffic on the website, including browser, cookies, and general location data. However, TCTTAC.org does not solicit, track, or store visitors’ personally identifiable information such as names, birthdates, email addresses, usernames or passwords. When agencies register for trainings, they are directed to a secure website that is separate from TCTTAC.org, with privacy and security policies that are different from TCTTAC’s.

10. What about e-cigarettes? Is it okay to recommend that people switch to these in order to avoid the harms of smoking?

There is limited evidence that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking, and the long-term health effects of vaping are still unknown. The pods for e-cigarettes have high amounts of nicotine, sometimes as much as is found in an entire pack of cigarettes. Other ingredients in e-cigarettes are varied and many are unknown, but some products contain deadly chemicals including formaldehyde and lead. Please note that the FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as smoking cessation devices, and in addition the use of e-cigarettes is prohibited wherever smoking is prohibited.

11. I use tobacco and I work with people who also use tobacco. How can I be an effective advocate?
  • This could be a good time to think about your own motivations for change. Even if you’re not ready to address your own tobacco use, this may be an opportunity to improve your health by trying Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) for situations when you can’t smoke – like while you’re working. Use your own experience of cutting down or becoming tobacco-free to become a wellness role model.
  • Be aware that smoking during work hours can unintentionally trigger clients who might be trying to avoid the sight and smells of tobacco.
  • Even if you’re not ready to give up tobacco, there might be other changes you’ve made that are useful to reflect on when providing clients tobacco treatment. Have you ever tried to save money? Lose weight? Learn a new skill? Others experiences of making a change can be useful to understand the challenges and concerns clients might have when you offer tobacco treatment.