Smoking Cessation Program Gives Patients the Courage to Quit© Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer in the world and is responsible for 6 million deaths (from cancer and other diseases) worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, HIV, guns, and illegal drugs combined. The University of Chicago Medicine’s Courage to Quit® program uses evidence-based smoking ces­ sation methods including behavioral skills, cogni- tive skills, and prescription and over-the-counter medications to help participants successfully quit smoking. The program, adopted by the Respiratory Health Association of Chicago in 2007, was developed by Andrea King, PhD, professor of psychiatry and co-leader of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program. King is a licensed clinical psychologist with extensive experience in the treatment of tobacco and other addictions. “I am delighted that this program is being imple- mented across hospitals, community centers, substance abuse programs, and homeless shelters,” she said. “It is truly inspiring to know that this program is reaching so many people who want to make changes in their tobacco use and improve their health.” Courage to Quit® has been delivered to over 2,000 smokers across the Chicagoland area, many of whom are underserved low-income smokers, and has been translated into Spanish, Polish, and Man- darin Chinese. King, who directs the Clinical Addictions Research Laboratory, also uses the program in her research studies. In her lab, she aims to understand what factors lead a person to use alcohol, tobacco, and other substances in excess, and is developing more effective interventions in the treatment of sub- stance abuse disorders. “Research is crucial in our efforts to provide evidence-based interventions to patients,” she said. For example, in a recent study1 of smokers aged 18–35, King found that seeing someone use an e-cigarette or vape pen (often used as a substitute for tobacco products) produced “an immediate, significant, and lasting increase in the desire to smoke.” “Currently, there is no evidence that electronic cig- arette devices help in quitting smoking,” King said. “While we may hear testimonials from persons who have switched from smoking to vaping or used e-cigarettes to quit smoking, large-scale clinical research is lacking.” King’s research has also shown that binge drinking increases smoking urges and certain medication combinations—nicotine patch and naltrexone, for example—help heavy-drinking smokers both quit smoking and decrease drinking. King recently received funding from the NCI Cancer Moonshot Initiative to augment and expand Courage to Quit® in the community and integrate a tobacco treatment program technology platform with the electronic medical record system to better manage patient care. To learn more about Courage to Quit®, visit couragetoquit.html and call 1-773-702-6685 to make an appointment. Read more about King’s research on the Science Life blog: https://sciencelife.uchospitals. edu/2017/01/12/seeing-vape-pen-use-boosts- desire-to-smoke-among-young-adults/ 1 King et al., Nicotine Tob Res [epub ahead of print] Andrea King, PhD CANCER.UCHICAGO.EDU 1