Skip to main content

Health Index Priority: Decrease Tobacco Use

MaineHealth is expanding access to effective programs and therapies for helping tobacco users become tobacco-free, and partnering with community organizations to prevent youth from ever using tobacco.

Why does MaineHealth focus on decreasing tobacco use?

  • Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death.
  • Over 17% of adults in Maine are smokers.
  • The incidence of tobacco related cancers in Maine is significantly higher than the U.S. rate.
  • Smoking causes heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, 10 types of cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Taking Action

We support a variety of clinical, community and policy actions to help decrease tobacco use throughout the MaineHealth service area. Here are some of the ways that MaineHealth and our partners are responding:

Tracking Progress

The Health Index initiative tracks and monitors a variety of data sources to measure progress being made to decrease tobacco use. In 2016, MaineHealth leaders set bold, aggressive targets for two of these measures as a way to challenge MaineHealth organizations to continue achieving positive steps toward the MaineHealth vision.

Short-term measure and target:

  • Between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018, 4,000 adults with tobacco dependence will be proactively referred to the Maine Tobacco HelpLine by providers in MaineHealth member-owned practices.

Long-term measure and target:

  • By 2020, 14% or less of adults in the MaineHealth service area will smoke cigarettes daily or some days.

 

TobaccoShortTermTarget

MaineHealth providers have significantly increased referrals to the Maine Tobacco HelpLine.  In the 4th quarter in FY2018, 976 referrals were received, hovering just below the target of 1000.   

Learn more

cigarette use to 2018

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.  The smoking rate in Maine went down from 19.8% to 18% between 2016 and 2018. 

Overall, 19.8% of adults in Maine smoke every day or some days.  However, this rate varies from a high of 26.6% in Aroostook county to a low of 13.9% in Cumberland.

tobacco map of maine

Latest News

View All
MaineHealth Awarded $1.2 Million Federal Grant for Statewide Overdose Prevention
Project DHARMA is a collaboration between MaineHealth and several other organizations across the state to prevent overdoses and infections through harm reduction programs.
Stephens Memorial Hospital to Host Access to Care Open House on June 29th
Stephens Memorial Hospital will hold an open house to celebrate MaineHealth’s Access to Care program, which for 20 years has connected our community’s most vulnerable populations to affordable health insurance and free and low cost health care and medications.
MaineHealth Free Food as Medicine Program
MaineHealth is offering a free one-year Food as Medicine program (FAM) to support individuals with one or more chronic health conditions who have limited access to healthy food.
Pen Bay Medical Center is nationally recognized for its commitment to providing high-quality AFib care
The American Heart Association presents the Get With The Guidelines - AFIB Gold award for proven dedication to ensuring all AFib patients have access to best practices and life-saving care