Indiana University Research & Creative Activity

The Art and Science of Medicine

Volume XXVI Number 1
Fall 2003

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cigarette butts

Leaving the Tobacco Road

While survival rates of lung transplant patients are slowly improving, it's preferable, of course, not to get into lung trouble in the first place.

End-stage lung disease isn't caused only by genetic disorders, like cystic fibrosis, over which people have little to no control. Emphysema, for example--a potentially fatal disease that makes lung tissue rigid, inflexible, and unable to expel carbon dioxide adequately-- is usually caused by smoking cigarettes.

Indiana's citizens are more likely to smoke than the people of most other states--27 percent of Hoosiers smoke, well above the 23 percent national average. A recent survey revealed, however, that 62 percent of the state's smokers say they want to quit "in the next six months." The Clarian Tobacco Control Center (CTCC) may be one of their best weapons in the fight to quit and fend off emphysema and other tobacco-related lung diseases.

The CTCC is led by Stephen Jay, chair of the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Public Health, and Arden Christen, acting chair of the IU School of Dentistry's Department of Oral Biology. A state-of-the-art, evidence-based program, CTCC supports behavioral research to determine which methods of smoking prevention and cessation are best. CTCC doctors and staff conduct face-to-face smoking cessation programs for outpatients visiting Clarian-affiliated hospitals and clinics and for workers at their places of employment throughout the Indianapolis area. For Hoosiers unable to visit the center in person, staff can provide counseling over the phone. CTCC is also piloting a cessation program for Clarian hospital inpatients.

One of the things that makes CTCC special is its charter commitment to personalized treatment, says program manager Debbie Hudson. "Nicotine addiction isn't just one addiction; it's three," she says. "The intensity of psychological, physical, and social/behavioral addiction varies from person to person. For any program like this to work well, we have to be able to mold and shape it as we go along. We have to be flexible enough to meet the needs of each patient, yet structured enough to follow clinical practice guidelines."

CTCC was created in 2002 through a partnership of the IU Cancer Center and Clarian Health Partners of Indianapolis. CTCC's core program evolved out of the IU Nicotine Dependence Program (IUNDP), which Christen created in 1992. Jay and Hudson joined the IUNDP in 1997. Christen continues to run a smaller version of the IUNDP at the School of Dentistry.

Jay and Christen also put their expertise to work for the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency (ITPC), a statewide entity that seeks to educate Hoosiers about the health risks of tobacco use. ITPC is funded by Indiana's share of tobacco settlement money.

For more information, contact the Clarian Tobacco Control Center, (317) 962-9662.