RADM (ret) Pamela Schweitzer formed the Smoking and Tobacco Use Advisory Committee (STUAC) in October 2015, initially named the Tobacco Cessation Services Access Workgroup (TCSAW), to address the persistent public health priority of tobacco cessation. As the Chief Professional Officer for the Pharmacy category, RADM (ret) Schweitzer worked to connect officers with passion and experience in tobacco related efforts. Founding members, in addition to RADM (ret) Schweitzer, included CAPT Megan Wohr, then CDR Rowdy Atkinson, then CDR Chandima Deegala, then CDR Jing Li, then CDR Michael Verdugo, then LCDR Narcisso Soliz, then LCDR Holly Van Lew, then LT Gayle Tuckett, and Dr. Melissa Campbell – Indian Health Service (IHS) Chief Consultant in Psychiatry.
The original purpose of the workgroup was to increase access to populations most at risk for tobacco use to receive cessation services. To support this purpose, the workgroup was initially comprised of four subgroups: Documentation and Informatics, Metrics and Outcomes, Provider Resources, and Training Resources. In December of 2018, the workgroup name changed to Nicotine Cessation Services Access Workgroup (NCSAW) to reflect the broader emphasis on nicotine addiction in all forms of tobacco. Further, the number of subgroups, categories, and agencies represented grew to seven subgroups (adding Communications, Funding Resources, and Prevention Resources) with officers from various Agencies and OpDivs.
In 2023, the name was changed to STUAC to encompass the prior efforts of NCSAW and the Smoking and Tobacco Use Cessation Committee. The Smoking and Tobacco Use Cessation Committee was originally founded in 2013 by RADM David Ashley and (then) CDR Jonathan Kwan, aimed to assist PHS officers in quitting tobacco use and align with the USPHS policy prohibiting smoking while in uniform, a pioneering move among the uniformed services. STUAC now consists of eight subcommittees, (removing Funding Resources and adding Administrative and Information Technology).
Our impacts to date include:
- 2015, Assessment of tobacco cessation services across Agencies and OpDivs served by PHS officers.
- 2016, Development of a basic tobacco cessation training program, USPHS Rx for Change.
- 2018, Completion of a comprehensive toolkit for cessation and prevention interventions for utilization by health systems.
- 2018, Engagement of the Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Educational Service to develop an intensive tobacco cessation training.
- 2018-2019, Engagement of the Ho Chunk Nation Health Department to assist in implementing culturally adapted nicotine cessation and prevention systems of care.
- 2019, Collaboration with PACE to develop an adolescent electronic-cigarette (vaping) prevention lesson plan.
- 2020-2022, Implementation of the collaborative tobacco cessation initiative with PACE – the Surgeon General’s Smoking Cessation Initiative – Five Day Event (SG SCI-FIve) to increase awareness of tobacco use and promote cessation in the nation.
Page Last Modified on 9/28/2023