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Winnable Battles Spotlight: Tobacco Use

Related Categories: TRAIN

Topic: TRAIN

Date: 1/10/2013

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has initiated an effort to achieve measurable impact quickly in select, targeted areas. CDC's Winnable Battles are public health priorities with large-scale impact on health and with known, effective strategies to address them. The public health community can make significant progress in reducing health disparities and the overall health burden from these diseases and conditions in a relatively short timeframe – generally within one to four years – by identifying priority strategies and clear targets.1 CDC has identified tobacco use as a Winnable Battle. 
Tobacco use is a major preventable cause of premature death and disease. Approximately six million deaths related to tobacco use occur each year, including 600,000 from secondhand smoke. In the United States, an estimated 45.3 million people – about one in five adults – currently smoke, and an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from diseases caused by smoking or secondhand smoke exposure.2 Furthermore, tobacco use is responsible for about $100 billion per year in medical expenditures and another $100 billion per year in lost productivity.3 With the implementation of evidence-based, cost-effective strategies, tobacco-related disease and death can be reduced.
TRAIN, the nation’s premier learning management system for professionals and volunteers who protect the public’s health, offers local, state, and national trainings that public health professionals can utilize in developing tobacco prevention and education initiatives. A selection of trainings available on TRAIN that address tobacco use include:



The Public Health Foundation (PHF) has partnered with CDC to build awareness and knowledge of CDC’s Winnable Battles by offering resources and tools that can be used by public health professionals to build capacity. PHF has added new resources to the PHF Online Bookstore that can assist state, tribal, local and territorial health departments in educating their patients and constituents with fighting tobacco use. New titles include 100 Questions & Answers About How to Quit Smoking and Quitting Tobacco: A Youth Cessation Program Kit. Additionally, The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) offers evidence-based findings and recommendations from the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. The Community Guide is a free resource to help individuals choose programs and policies to improve health and prevent disease in their community. Systematic reviews are used to answer questions, such as:

  • Which program and policy interventions have been proven effective?
  • Are there effective interventions that are right for my community?
  • What might effective interventions cost; what is the likely return on investment?

For more information on limiting tobacco use, create a TRAIN account and register for courses/trainings or contact the PHF Bookstore.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Winnable Battles Accessed January 2, 2013.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Winnable Battles: Tobacco Use. Accessed   January 2, 2013. 
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Introduction letter from CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. Accessed January 2, 2013. ​


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Winnable Battles Spotlight: Tobacco Use