March 7, 2019
We hope you enjoy this monthly newsletter fr om the Training & Education Program at the Center for Tobacco Independence.
What's the Research?
Severity of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Disorders Among Sexual Minority Individuals

It is known that people with a "sexual minority identity" - such as lesbian/gay and bisexual individuals, and those who state they are not sure of their sexual identity - have a heightened risk of substance abuse. But how severe do various substance use disorders tend to be among members of this group?

A recent study examined the severity o f alcohol use disorders (AUDs), tobacco use disorders (TUDs), and drug use disorders (DUDs) among people with a sexual minority identity, compared with heterosexual individuals.

The researchers found strong evidence that a higher proportion of sexual minority individuals, particularly bisexual individuals and those who are not sure of their sexual identities, have severe AUDs and TUDs. Higher rates of severe substance use disorders among sexual minority individuals pose unique challenges for the treatment community and point to substantial health disparities. These findings demonstrate the importance of designing treatment programs that target sexual minority individuals and their unique risks.

To access the article, CLICK HERE .

Article citation: Boyd CJ, Veliz PT, Stephenson R, et al. ( Jan 2019). Severity of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Disorders Among Sexual Minority Individuals and Their “Not Sure” Counterparts, L GBT Health, Volume 6 (1).
Use of the Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) for Quitting Smoking
CTI's Policy Statement
Is it true? Are ENDS (also called e-cigarettes, vape pens, JUULs and other terms*) more effective than Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) for helping people quit smoking?

You may have heard about a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, entitled A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy (Hajek P, et al.). The authors' conclusions made some waves in the tobacco treatment community. According to their findings, e -cigarettes were more effective for quitting smoking than nicotine-replacement therapy, when both products were accompanied by behavioral support.

T his topic involves many complexities. One nuance to note in the above findings is tha t ENDS were more effective for quitting smoking, but use of ENDS still occurred after people discontinued combustible tobacco products.   

We at the Center for Tobacco Independence have developed a statement that best reflects where we stand on the issue currently. This policy document includes the following summarizing points:

  • ENDS are not considered an evidence-based treatment by the US FDA. Unlike first-line treatments with strong safety profiles, no treatment or prescription guidelines exist for ENDS.

  • Health risks associated with long-term use of ENDS are unknown, based on their emergence onto the market within the past decade. While there is some reason to believe that ENDS may pose less harm than use of combustible tobacco products, there is also growing evidence of potential harm. In short, more time is needed to determine the health effects of long-term use of ENDS.

If you would like more information, please contact us at: .

To access the full document, CLICK HERE .

*Please note: in practical situations, especially when screening for use among patients, using terms like "e-cigarettes," "vaping" and "JUULing" may elicit the most accurate results.
Survey Corner
We Want to Hear from You!

This Month’s Survey: Interest in Certification as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist

Our training program is one of 22 that are accredited through the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs. It provides the necessary training elements allowing participants to become nationally certified as tobacco treatment specialists (currently termed the National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice, or NCTTP). We want to know how many of you are interested in pursuing this option.

Please note: when you make a selection you will be taken to a "Thank You" page. You may exit that page and return to the newsletter.

Are you considering becoming certified as a tobacco treatment specialist?
I am not sure
Maybe, but I need more information before I decide

Previous Survey: Gauging Awareness of Electronic Products

Thank you for your responses to the survey in our November 2018 newsletter, which asked about peoples' awareness of electronic products.

"How much do you know about electronic products?"

  • The vast majority of respondents replied: "I know a moderate amount, but it would help me to learn more"

  • A handful of respondents said that they had not heard of electronic products, or that they knew a little bit but the products were not an issue in their work or lives

These responses are very helpful to us as we strive to make our trainings the best they can be!

Thanks for your participation!
Selected Resource
When You Quit Smoking

When a person is facing the monumental challenge of stopping smoking, it can be helpful to let them know that the health benefits of quitting begin right away. For instance, after only 24 hours of abstinence their heart attack risk decreases. Lung function increases after only two weeks.

At our trainings, one of the most popular handouts on our materials table is one that shows these sorts of benefits over time. Training participants are always excited to bring it back to show their patients and clients.

To access your own copy: CLICK HERE or on the image.

Note: there are many other resources available on our new website, under Provider Tools.
March 2019 Events

Please click on the titles for more information or to register.


Thursday, March 21, 2019 ~ Sanford


Wednesday, March 27, 2019 ~ 12 - 1pm

For more information about the Training & Education Program, visit:

MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence (CTI)
Tobacco Treatment Training and Education Program
CTI provides education and training on evidence-based tobacco treatment to healthcare and behavioral health professionals in Maine on behalf of the Maine CDC, DHHS. Our goal is to improve access to high quality, best practice tobacco treatment and create a network of tobacco treatment specialists across the state.