Welcome to Rethink Tobacco Indiana

Rethink Tobacco Indiana is a statewide initiative aimed at creating awareness and health systems change related to treating tobacco use and dependence in behavioral health settings.

Rethink Tobacco Indiana aligns with the 2020 Indiana Tobacco Control Strategic Plan’s priority areas of increasing the proportion of Hoosiers not exposed to secondhand smoke, decreasing Indiana adult smoking rates, and maintaining state and local infrastructure necessary to lower tobacco use rates.

Who We Are

Rethink Tobacco Indiana (formerly Bringing Indiana Along), is a statewide initiative aimed at bringing tobacco awareness to the field of behavioral health and providing support to behavioral health treatment centers to integrate evidence-based tobacco interventions. Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States.1 Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

In 2017, more than five times as many American adults died from tobacco‐related illnesses than died from murder, suicide, traffic deaths, and AIDS, combined.  Tobacco use rates, specifically cigarette smoking, are disproportionately higher among individuals with a history of mental health conditions or substance use disorders. While representing about 25% of adults in the United States, adults with behavioral health conditions consume almost 40% of all cigarettes smoked by adults across the country!

Approximately 25% of adults in the U.S. have some form of mental illness or substance abuse disorder, and these adults consume almost 40% of all cigarettes smoked by adults.2

It has been estimated that the life span is reduced by 25 years for those afflicted with mental health disorders, largely due to tobacco-related diseases.3

Tobacco smoke also impacts psychiatric treatment, resulting in higher doses required to achieve therapeutic levels in smokers, with the potential for increased neuroleptic side-effects.4

Making Changes

The population most affected by these statistics lacks access to evidence-based tobacco use treatment.  Rethink Tobacco Indiana is working to change that for Hoosiers. 

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who we serve

Grant funded since 2008, by the Indiana Tobacco Prevention & Cessation Commission, Rethink Tobacco Indiana provides training and technical assistance for behavioral health organizations including, but not limited to, community mental health centers (CMHCs), addiction treatment facilities, and transitional housing programs. Rethink Tobacco Indiana provides the following activities and resources at no cost:

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  • Tobacco treatment integration policy development and implementation technical assistance
  • Educational trainings and webinars
  • Onsite trainings for behavioral health professionals, including clinical providers
  • Tobacco Treatment Toolkits
  • Model policies for comprehensive tobacco-free grounds
  • Assistance for implementing employer-sponsored tobacco treatment and benefits for employees of behavioral health centers
  • Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) intensive training*

*TTS trainings may be offered at an additional cost to cover training expenses.

Our Goals and Objectives

Reduce the prevalence of tobacco use among persons with mental health diagnoses or substance abuse disorders.

Provide technical assistance to support behavioral health organizations (e.g. CMHCs, addiction treatment centers, etc.) with integrating evidence-based tobacco treatment services-in both inpatient and outpatient settings- to improve the delivery of these services.

Increase the proportion of tobacco-free campus policies for hospitals, health care centers, community mental health centers, and addiction treatment centers.

Educate current and future healthcare providers to implement recommendations set forth in the 2008 (updated) Clinical Practice Guideline for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence through broad-scale dissemination efforts that include in-person and interactive web-based trainings.

Increase the number of behavioral health treatment center work sites that provide employer-sponsored tobacco treatment services and benefits for employees who use tobacco products.

Promote available resources to behavioral health organizations and communities, including the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW and QuitNowIndiana.com.

  • At Indiana Addiction Issues Coalition, our message is that addiction is a disease, treatment works and recovery is possible. This is true for tobacco as well. Working in the field of addiction, this gets overlooked consistently. Deaths related to tobacco are significantly higher than any illicit substance, yet gets the least attention. People need access to medication and other lifesaving interventions. I’m glad that here in Indiana, we have people like Debi and Kayla spreading this message and educating the people of Indiana.

    Brandon George Director of Indiana Addiction Issues Coalition
  • I believe tobacco treatment is essential to recovery.

    Stephen McCaffrey President and CEO of Mental Health America of Indiana
  • You know, we have had data on recovery rates for addiction to alcohol and drugs with tobacco cessation as part of the entire recovery plan for many years. 25% better chance of long term recovery with tobacco cessation and I don’t see our industry making tobacco cessation a standard of care?  Let’s hope this changes, and soon. Tell me any other single behavior that has such an impact on long term recovery!

    Jim Ryser Director of Pain Services and Chemical Dependency Program at IU Health Methodist Hospital
  • Tobacco may seem harmless due to not having the quick detrimental effects as other drugs like; heroin, crack, and  alcohol, but tobacco use is linked to killing more and costing more than all substance use put together. Unfortunately, children are some of those affected, not just through smoking themselves, rather by second and third hand smoke. Tobacco Use Disorder (DSM 5 2013) is treatable and increases the chance of long term recovery by 25% when treated with other substance use disorders based off a meta-analysis of smoking cessation (Prochaska 2004).

    Nick Svetlauskas Bureau Chief of Addiction Services | Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Mental Health and Addiction