The Department of State Health Services has selected the Center for Community Health Development (CCHD) at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health to develop outreach and evaluation strategies for a program aimed at lowering the disproportionately high rates of smoking among Hispanic and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) populations.
The three-year project will involve research to develop outreach strategies for the Texas Tobacco Quitline, a free, confidential counseling service designed to help people stop smoking. In addition, CCHD will evaluate “The Last Drag” program, a smoking cessation program targeting LGBT smokers.
Approximately $70,000 has been awarded for the initial phase with future additional funding anticipated. The project will be led by Dr. Whitney Garney, Texas A&M School of Public Health CCHD Research and Evaluation Associate, and Dr. Idethia “Shevon” Harvey, associate professor in the Texas A&M Department of Health and Kinesiology and CCHD affiliate faculty member.
Focus groups with Hispanic and LGBT individuals will be conducted to determine barriers to accessing smoking cessation resources like the Texas Tobacco Quitline. From this information, a statewide outreach plan will be developed that Tobacco Prevention and Control Coalitions can use to promote the Quitline service.
CCHD will evaluate the implementation of “The Last Drag” program with LGBT populations in four locations across the state, beginning year one at two universities – Texas State University and the University of Tyler at Texas.
“Increased resources are needed to help decrease the high rates of smoking among Hispanic and LGBT populations,” Dr. Garney said. “By gathering input from our target populations, we will be able to work with the state to develop more effective smoking cessation resources.”