Office of Tobacco Control

This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

The Mississippi State Department of Health works to address the impact of tobacco use through the Office of Tobacco Control (OTC). As established by Section 41-113-3 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, OTC is charged with developing and implementing a comprehensive statewide strategy that includes tobacco education, prevention, and cessation programs.

The mission of the Office of Tobacco Control is to promote and protect the health of all Mississippians by reducing tobacco-related disease and death. OTC utilizes a systemic approach to achieve this end as outlined in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) and Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs. The program components include:

Each program is developed and implemented based on evidence-based strategies and the recommendations outlined by the CDC.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. In Mississippi, 5,400 adults die each year from smoking, and 192,000 children are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.

Program Activities

Community Interventions and Programs

Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalitions

The Office of Tobacco Control (OTC) implements a range of integrated programs to encourage and support tobacco-free lifestyles. The OTC provides funding for the 34 Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalitions (MTFCs) that cover the 82 counties of the state and implement tobacco control programs at the grassroots level. The MTFCs are community-based coalitions that work to educate municipalities and schools regarding smoke-free air, prevent the initiation of tobacco use among youth, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, promote cessation services, and eliminate tobacco-related disparities.

Statewide Programs and Partners

Through the Tobacco-Free Mississippi initiative, the Office of Tobacco Control works with physicians and health associations to incorporate the U.S. Public Health Service's Clinical Practice Guideline recommendations for treating tobacco use into their clinical practices. The initiative's statewide programs include:

  • Mississippi Primary Healthcare Association: Engaging Mississippi's Federally Qualified Health Centers
    MPHCA and OTC collaborate to engage Mississippi's federally qualified health centers by offering evidence-based best practices for treating tobacco use and dependence in community health center settings.
    More information can be found at the Mississippi Primary Health Care Association.
  • Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians Foundation: Engaging Mississippi's Family Physicians
    MAFPF and OTC partner to engage family physicians by training staff at family physician clinics on how to "Ask, Advise, and Refer" tobacco users to appropriate treatment.
    More information can be found at the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics: Engaging Mississippi's Pediatricians
    The Mississippi Chapter of AAP and OTC engage pediatricians by educating them on their role in protecting pediatric patients from exposure to secondhand smoke.
    More information can be found at the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Mississippi Rural Health Association: Engaging Mississippi's Rural Health Clinics
    MRHA and OTC engage Mississippi's rural health clinics by incorporating evidence-based best practices for treating tobacco use and dependence in rural health clinics around the State.
    More information can be found at the Mississippi Rural Health Association.
  • Mississippi's Nurses Foundation: Engaging Mississippi's Nurses
    MNF and OTC partner to equip nursing students and veteran nurses with training and resources to promote tobacco cessation within the nursing profession and among their patients.
    More information can be found at the Mississippi Nurses Foundation.
  • The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies
    IDS and OTC partner to develop and implement a tobacco control program to reduce initiation of tobacco use, promote cessation, eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke, and eliminate tobacco-related disparities among Mississippians with disabilities.
    More information can be found at the University of Southern Mississippi.

According to the CDC's Vital Signs report on Adult Smoking Focusing on People with Mental Illness, 2013, cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the U.S. Despite overall declines in smoking, more people with mental illness smoke than people without mental illness. Because many people with mental illness smoke, many of them will get sick and die early from smoking.

  • More than 1 in 3 adults (36%) with a mental illness smoke cigarettes, compared with about 1 in 5 adults (21%) with no mental illness.
  • About 3 of every 10 cigarettes (31%) smoked by adults are smoked by adults with mental illness.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 adults (or 45.7 million adults) have some form of mental illness.

More information can be found at Vital Signs for Adult Smoking.

Tobacco-Free Mississippi participants have also received assistance to implement policy and systems changes such as:

  • A tobacco-free campus policy
  • Provider training on the treatment of tobacco use and dependence
  • A patient referral system to the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline and ACT Centers

MSDH assisted the following statewide partners and clinics in implementing the Tobacco-Free Mississippi Project in FY 2014.

  • Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians Foundation: Isaac Aultman, M. D. (Jackson), Cleveland Medical Clinic (Cleveland), Jones Family Medical Clinic (Tupelo), Lakeland Family Medical (Jackson), Moore Healthy Family Medical Clinic (Jackson), Parkway Family Medicine (Ridgeland), Premier Patient First Clinic (Jackson), and Flowood Family Medicine (Flowood)
  • Mississippi Primary Health Care Association: Access Family Health Center (Smithville), East Central MS Health Care (Sebastopol), Family Health Care Clinic (Brandon), Mantachie Rural Health Care (Mantachie), and North Mississippi Primary Health Care (Ashland)
  • Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics: Coastal Family Health Center Pediatric Clinic (Biloxi), Jackson Pediatric Associates (Ridgeland), and Pioneer Family and Pediatric Clinic (Newton)
  • Mississippi Rural Health Association: Aberdeen Health Clinic (Aberdeen), Acute Care + Family Clinic of Pontotoc (Pontotoc), Brooksville Primary Care Clinic (Brookville), Central Mississippi Family Health Clinic (Meridian), Charleston Clinic (Charleston), Chestnut Medical Clinic(Aberdeen), Clark Clinic (Morton), Community Health Clinic(Forest), Decatur Family Medical Clinic (Decatur), Delta Regional Health Clinic (Greenville), Doctors Clinic (Mendenhall), Family Care Express - Collins (Collins), Family Care Medical Clinic in Tupelo (Tupelo), Family Care of Seminary(Seminary), Family Clinic of New Albany (New Albany), Family Medical Associates of Covington County (Collins), Family Medical Clinic in Meridian (Meridian), Family Medical Group of Union (Union), Gamble Medical Clinic (Greenville), GLH - Magnolia Medical Clinic (Greenwood), Green Tree Family Medical Clinic (Mount Olive), Greenwood Leflore After Hours Clinic (Greenwood), Greenwood Leflore Hospital (Greenwood), Greenwood Leflore Walk-In Clinic (Greenwood), Greenwood Walk-In Clinic (Greenwood), H.C. Watkins Memorial Hospital (Quitman), Hancock Medical Pass Christian (Pass Christian), Immediate Care Family Clinic(Meridian), Itta Bena Clinic (Itta Bena), Itta Bena Rural Health Clinic (Itta Bena), John C. Stennis Memorial Hospital (Dekalb), Laird Hospital, Inc. (Union), Lake Medical Foundation (Lake), Lexington Primary Care Clinic (Lexington), Lifecore Health Group (Tupelo), Louisville Medical Associates (Louisville), Magnolia Clinic, Inc. (Magnolia), Magnolia Medical Clinic (Magnolia), Main Street Medical Clinic of Morton (Morton), Nina Journey's Family Medical Practice (Aberdeen), North Hills Family Medical Clinic(Meridian), Pioneer Community Hospital of Aberdeen (Magnolia), Pioneer Family Medical of Aberdeen (Aberdeen), Pioneer Family Medical of Amory (Amory), Pioneer Family Medical of Hamilton (Hamilton), Pioneer Health Services (Magee), Primary Healthcare in Forest (Forest), Rush Family Practice - Lake (Lake), Rush Foundation Hospital (Meridian), Rush Medical Clinic - Collinsville (Collinsville), Rush Medical Clinic - DeKalb (DeKalb), Scott Regional Hospital (Morton), Sumner Clinic(Sumner), The Medical Group of Quitman (Quitman), Total Care Clinic (Forest), and Women's Health Clinic of Grenada, Inc. (Grenada)

Tobacco-Free Mississippi also has provided statistical data on the prevalence of tobacco use among the patients served by these clinics.

Youth Programs

Youth tobacco prevention programs are implemented statewide to deter the initiation of tobacco use among school-age and college youth. The Office of Tobacco Control incorporates youth programs into community-based coalitions and organizations throughout the state, and provides youth advocacy and empowerment opportunities for junior high, high school and college students.

Generation FREE and Generation FREE U
Generation FREE is youth-led movement against big tobacco fueled by Mississippi teens and college students across the state. FREE aims to educate youth on the dangers of tobacco use as well as electronic cigarettes and other emerging tobacco products. FREE tells Mississippi youth that they have the power to fight against big tobacco and choose not to be replacement smokers! FREE aims to change youths' attitudes about tobacco through interactive FREEstyle events, educational presentations, symposiums and summits for Mississippi students in grades 7-12, various health education materials, traditional media, social media, a 18-member Youth Advisory Board (YAB), and a 10-member Generation FREE U Squad. The YAB and FREE U Squad along with FREE Coordinators encourage Mississippi youth in grades 7-12 and postsecondary schools to make healthy lifestyle choices!

Reject All Tobacco! (RAT)
RAT is the tobacco-free prevention program created for Mississippi children in grades K-6. RAT aims to provide children with all the facts about big tobacco, empower them to make healthy lifestyle decisions, and to "teach up" to adults in their lives about the dangers of tobacco use. RAT also aims to change children's attitudes about tobacco before they reach the age of experimenting with cigarettes, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes and other emerging tobacco products through five RAT Troupes, the animated RAT Pack Show, educational presentations, traditional media, social media, and various health education materials.

Care for Their Air
Educates parents and caregivers on the harmful effects of exposure to secondhand smoke, especially to babies and young children. Program participants commit to providing a smoke-free environment in their homes and cars. For more information on how to bring this program to your daycare or head start center, contact the Office of Tobacco Control.

Tobacco Cessation Interventions

The Mississippi Tobacco Quitline

The Mississippi Tobacco Quitline is an evidence-based, tobacco cessation treatment program that has services available to adult residents of the state of Mississippi who are motivated to quit using tobacco products. The program is available by the telephone and also in a web-based format to deliver counseling and nicotine replacement therapy (the patch and gum) at no cost to participants. All staff are Master's Level counselors who deliver effective behavior modification therapy. Both counseling and medications are effective, but when combined, tobacco users are twice as likely to quit for good.

The ACT Center for Tobacco Treatment, Education, and Research

The ACT Center is an evidence-based, tobacco cessation treatment program that has services available to adult residents of the state who are motivated to quit using tobacco products. The program is delivered via an in-person, group setting and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and medications are available at no cost to participants. The ACT Center has a main site in Jackson, Mississippi and several satellite clinics throughout the state. All counselors are Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists (CTTS). For more information, please call 601-815-1180.

Surveillance and Evaluation

The Office of Tobacco Control implements a surveillance and evaluation system to monitor and provide short-term, intermediate and long-term interventions to influence program and policy direction, ensure accountability, and demonstrate effectiveness. The Office of Tobacco Control uses the knowledge and skills of public health experts and academic researchers to ensure advanced surveillance and evaluation practices are employed. State-specific tobacco control surveillance and evaluation data can be accessed at www.MSTobaccoData.org. Additional sources for data and statistics are listed below.

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Administration and Management

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs:

Effective tobacco prevention and control programs require substantial funding to implement, thus making critical the need for sound fiscal management. Internal capacity within a state health department is essential for program sustainability, efficacy, and efficiency.

The Office of Tobacco Control employs the following measures to ensure effectiveness:

  • Engaging in strategic planning to guide program efforts and resources to accomplish their goals.
  • Recruiting and developing qualified and diverse technical, program and administrative staff.
  • Awarding and monitoring program contracts and grants, coordinating implementation across program areas, and assessing grantee program performance.
  • Developing and maintaining a real-time fiscal management system that tracks allocations and expenditure of funds.
  • Increasing capacity at the local level by providing ongoing training and technical assistance.
  • Creating an effective communication system internally, across chronic disease programs, and with local coalitions and partners.
  • Educating the public and decision makers on the health effects of tobacco and evidence-based effective program and policy interventions.

Tobacco Control Resources


Fact Sheets & Brochures

Smoke-Free Policies and Initiatives

More Resources

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MSDH Office of Tobacco Control
805 South Wheatley Blvd., Suite 400
Ridgeland, MS 39157
Office: 601-991-6050 Toll-free: 1-866-724-6115
Fax: 601-956-4981

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Last reviewed on Dec 3, 2018

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Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866-HLTHY4U Contact and information

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