Tobacco use remains the top cause of preventable illness and death in Kansas. The Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health conducts internationally recognized research, teaching, and advocacy to eliminate tobacco-related harm.
The department's tobacco control program began with efforts to improve treatment for African American smokers. That work has now expanded to multiple research efforts that seek better ways to reach and treat tobacco users. Department researchers now work with many underserved and high-risk communities, including American Indian, Latino, and rural tobacco users. To conduct this research, faculty collaborate with community groups, safety net clinics, primary care facilities and hospitals. Some of our major tobacco use initiatives are listed below:
An online graduate course, "Tobacco and Public Health," allows public health students to study issues related to tobacco epidemiology and treatment. Medical students learn about principles of tobacco treatment in their first year and study systems-based approaches to tobacco control in the "Health of the Public" course. Faculty provide in-person and online trainings throughout the state, nationally, and internationally on the epidemiology and treatment of tobacco dependence.
The Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health partnered with the University of Kansas Health System to develop a bedside tobacco treatment service, UKanQuit. The service allows providers to proactively work with patients to help them quit tobacco by referring to UKanQuit which provides inpatient tobacco users beside counseling, pharmacological relief from symptoms of craving and withdrawal while hospitalized, referral to outpatient support, and access to tobacco cessation medication prescriptions upon discharge. It also provides an opportunity for patients to engage in treatment and begin the journey to becoming tobacco free.