New York City Treats Tobacco | NYU Langone Health

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Section on Tobacco, Alcohol & Drug Use Research New York City Treats Tobacco

New York City Treats Tobacco

NYU Langone’s New York City Treats Tobacco (NYCTT) program, in the Department of Population Health’s Section on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use, works to reduce tobacco-related disease by partnering with healthcare systems to help their patients quit smoking.

Tobacco use causes more than 28,200 premature deaths and more than $10 billion in direct healthcare expenditures and productivity losses each year in New York state. More than 70 percent of people who smoke visit a healthcare provider each year, and most want and expect their providers to help them quit.

Our goal is to work with healthcare systems and providers across New York City to help make it possible for everyone seeking medical or mental healthcare to be screened for tobacco use, particularly patients in low-income communities and those with psychosocial difficulties. Our efforts include working with health systems to document the smoking status of patients in their health records, and advising healthcare providers on the best ways to help their patients access and use evidence-based tobacco cessation resources.

Our program consists of clinical, research, and administrative faculty and staff with experience helping tobacco users successfully quit through tobacco cessation programs at NYU Langone and across New York City. We are funded by a five-year grant from the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Control, and we work in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Primary Care Information Project.

About Health Systems Change

We work with medical and behavioral healthcare providers to implement policy and system changes that incorporate tobacco use screening and treatment into routine clinical care.

Making changes across a health system helps ensure the success of tobacco cessation efforts. It makes it more likely that providers will address tobacco use with their patients, and it improves the overall quality of healthcare delivery. A system-wide approach can also help prevent tobacco-related disease on a larger scale than individually focused efforts and reduce smoking-related healthcare costs and lost productivity. Health systems change is highly ranked among the priorities and regulatory standards of state and federal health initiatives such as Meaningful Use and the Affordable Care Act.

Work with Us

We work with medical and behavioral health facilities across New York City, typically those in communities with low socioeconomic status, serving people who are uninsured or underinsured and who may have psychosocial difficulties. We work most frequently with the following types of healthcare organizations:

  • behavioral health clinics licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health (Article 31 clinics)
  • behavioral health outpatient service providers certified by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) or New York State Office of Mental Health
  • clinics certified under Article 28 of New York State Public Health Law
  • community health centers
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
  • New York City health homes
  • Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) providers

Working with us can help you meet certain requirements for initiatives, including the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program, Meaningful Use, New York State Smokers’ Quitline’s Opt-to-Quit program, Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Uniform Data System measures.

Our Team

We are a group of clinicians, researchers, and administrative staff with experience helping tobacco users successfully quit smoking.

Donna Shelley, MD, MPH 
Co-Director, Section on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use
Professor, Departments of Population Health and Medicine

David Davis, LMSW
Project Manager

Alexandra Kingsepp
Project Coordinator for Metro North: Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens

Kaitlyn Van Allen, MPH
Project Coordinator for Metro South: Brooklyn and Staten Island

Contact Us

We are located in Manhattan at 180 Madison Avenue, on the 17th floor. If your organization is interested in working on smoking cessation efforts or collaborating to raise awareness about smoking and health disparities, contact us at