The Marine Corps always leads the way in innovative thinking and performance. With this in mind, the Operation Tobacco-Free Marine (OTFM) Tobacco Cessation Program was developed to provide the Marine Corps community with the first of its kind, evidence-based tools to help tobacco users quit successfully. The standardized nature of the program is intended to provide Marines and families consistent health education programming and continuity of care as they attempt to quit tobacco; while also dealing with the challenges of military life. OTFM consists of a curriculum, training initiative, and an awareness campaign.
The OTFM curriculum is an evidence-based program that incorporates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control and the Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service. The curriculum was written by staff at the Florida State University College of Medicine Tobacco Treatment Specialist Program in collaboration with staff from the Tampa Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center’s Smoking Cessation Clinic and the Bay Point Veteran’s Affairs Health System. All authors of the OTFM curriculum are Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists. The USMC Semper Fit & Recreation Health Promotion staff also contributed to the development of the curriculum and oversaw inclusion of key topics affecting Marine readiness. Topics covered in the curriculum include health consequences of tobacco, barriers to quitting, familiarization with nicotine replacement therapy and other medications, creating a quit plan and accessing support resources. The curriculum includes scenario-based interaction with a decision-making instructional approach and provides the user with many resources to quit tobacco.
The OTFM training initiative includes training Semper Fit Health Promotion staff as the primary Tobacco Cessation SME aboard Marine Corps installations. All Installation Tobacco Cessation SMEs are trained as Tobacco Treatment Specialists (TTS) and OTFM Course Facilitators, including the capability to train others as OTFM Course Facilitators. These trainings are required in order to conduct tobacco cessation classes and provide tobacco cessation resources aboard their installations. TTS training guides the provision of intensive treatment for tobacco dependency and grounds this practice in the best evidence for effective treatment. TTS designation includes the mandatory 24 hours of training in the 11 core competencies outlined by the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence. OTFM Course Facilitator training familiarizes the Installation Tobacco Cessation SME with the Marine Corps’ tobacco cessation curriculum. Additionally, this training incorporates a train-the-trainer model where the Installation Tobacco Cessation SME will train Tobacco Cessation Champions (TCC), from organizations such as Navy Medicine and Behavioral Health Programs, as OTFM curriculum facilitators. The TCC will also conduct tobacco cessation classes aboard Marine Corps installations and will report metrics back to the Installation Tobacco Cessation SME. This collaborative approach offers more access to tobacco cessation support, including delivery of tobacco cessation classes at the unit location, than if the OTFM curriculum was provided from a single office.
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As military deployment patterns have slowed and health and wellness initiatives in the Department of Defense and in the Marine Corps have grown, a focus on keeping Marines ready and resilient has emerged. To meet these requirements the Marine Corps embarked on the development of a Tobacco Cessation Program specifically designed for Marines trying to quit. The Health Promotion Program is tasked with implementation of the Operation Tobacco-Free Marine Tobacco Cessation Program with classes now available at all installations. For more information, please contact your local Semper Fit Health Promotion office.