School-Based Tobacco Treatment Integration (SBTTI) Strategy Overview
After years of declining rates of smoking among Colorado middle and high schoolers, use of e-cigarettes that deliver nicotine has led to the highest rate of youth tobacco product use in a generation. The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) 2015 through 2021 data show significant decreases in the percent of high school students who use cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. In 2021, however, significantly more youth used e-cigarettes than any other products. Tobacco burden disparities still exist for some priority populations. Gender queer/nonbinary youth reported cigarette use at more than twice the rate of their male and female peers (7.1% vs 3% and 3.3%) in the 2021 HKCS.
Improving access to confidential screening, early intervention, and tailored treatment services for youth who vape or use any form of nicotine or tobacco product are top priorities for the State Tobacco Education, Prevention and Cessation Grant Program (STEPP) grants program. STEPP is committed to reducing the tobacco treatment disparities that still exist for some priority populations. STEPP’s 2030 Strategic Plan outlines the reduction in prevalence of tobacco product use and expansion of treatment services for youth as one of our paramount strategies. SBHCs are in a unique position to advance STEPP goals to identify at-risk adolescents and provide comprehensive tobacco treatment support.
The goal of the SBTTI strategy is to institutionalize tobacco treatment as a standard of care within SBHC settings. The project will identify and advance clinical workflow integration to ensure that all SBHC clients receive standardized screening for tobacco and vape use, and secondhand smoke exposure, as well as brief intervention and provision of, or referral to, evidence-based cessation services, such as My Life My Quit.
Refer to the Fiscal Year 2023-24 SBHC Grantee List, SBTTI section, for information on the current grantees.