Wilmot Cancer Center Gets $1.5M Grant to Help Smokers Quit

August 16, 2004

The James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center has been awarded a $1.5 million, five-year grant from the New York State Department of Health to run the Greater Rochester Area Tobacco Cessation Center. The grant will be coordinated through the Smoking Research Program at the Wilmot Cancer Center.  Funding began August 1, 2004, and will continue until July 31, 2009. The award is for $298,216 annually, for a total of $1,491,080. 

The Greater Rochester Area Tobacco Cessation Center will serve five local counties including Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Seneca and Wayne. The goal of the project is to reduce the number of people who smoke, which is currently 21 percent of the area population. The project will train health professionals in nicotine dependence counseling that is based on specific guidelines. This effort will be coupled with referral for further interventions and follow-up. The Smoking Research Program has identified 13 sites for the program during the first year. The sites are located throughout the five-county area and more sites will be added each year of the program.

In addition to the counseling and follow-up, the key to the program’s success will be strong coordination among the staff at each site. “If all the appropriate office staff know that a patient is attempting to quit smoking, there is a better chance for the right kind of support and referrals, and ultimately success,” explains Scott McIntosh, Ph.D., assistant professor of community and preventive medicine and principal investigator for the program.

McIntosh will be working with Drs. Deborah Ossip-Klein and Geoffrey Williams, co-investigators, and others to carry out training, referrals, and evaluation.

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