About Us

UC has shown its commitment to provide a healthy environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors by implementing a systemwide tobacco-free policy that began in January.

This project aims to further reduce tobacco use and exposure – the leading cause of preventable death – by developing a UC Tobacco Cessation Network. Building off a pilot project that Dr. Elisa Tong started at UC Davis with a 2013 CHQI fellowship, the UC-wide network will use electronic medical records to address tobacco use at every clinical encounter.

There will be assistance with counseling and medication for greater success, with the Joint Commission tobacco measure serving as a framework. The network will partner with the California Smokers’ Helpline, a UC San Diego-based free telephone counseling service that doubles the chances of quitting, to create a two-way electronic referral, and the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, based at UCSF, to promote system wide training opportunities.

Champions at each site will coordinate electronic medical record modifications, conduct outreach and education to departments and nursing units for workflow integration, and collaborate as a network through information sharing and evaluation; UC-wide champions for nursing and pediatrics will help target and tailor the needs of these staff. This project is expected to demonstrate a significant return on investment and national leadership on health systems change for tobacco cessation.

Contact Information

Project Manager: Cynthia Vela


(916) 734-2394



Find your local champions: UC San Francisco

UC Los Angeles

UC Irvine

UC San Diego

UC Davis


Project Director

Elisa Tong - UC Davis

UC Davis Outpatient Champion

Associate Professor - General Medicine

Project Manager

Cindy Vela - UC Davis

Center for Healthcare Policy and Research


Nurse Champion

Linda Sarna - UC Los Angeles

Interim Dean and Professor

School of Nursing

Lulu Wold-Hassenplug Endowed Chair in Nursing


Pediatrics Champion


UCSD Rady Children's Hospital

Pediatrics - American Academy of Pediatrics

Brian Williams - UC San Diego

Jyothi Marbin - UC San Francisco

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital


California Smokers Helpline

Principle Investigator for the California Smokers Helpline

Department of Family and Preventable Medicine

Shu-Hong Zhu - UC San Diego


Director of Smoking Cessation Leadership Center

Department of Medicine



Smoking Cessation Leadership Center

Steve Schroeder - UC San Francisco

Catherine Saucedo - UC San Francisco

Deputy Director of Smoking Cessation Leadership Center

Jennifer Matekuare - UC San Francisco

Operations Manager of Smoking Cessation Leadership Center

1/21/2016 UCSD: Inpatient nurses

Mai-Khanh Bui-Duy MD - UC San Francisco

Assistant Professor of Medicine

1/16/2016: CA Society for General Internal Medicine at UCSF Mission Bay

Oral presentation "Innovation" topic on UC Quits.



Linda Sarna PhD, RN, FAAN- UC Los Angeles

1/7/2016 UCLA: Lead nurse meeting, Ambulatory Nurse Leadership Council

12/2/2015 UCSF: Peds nursing

11/19/2015 UCI: Ambulatory Clinics and Nursing Partnership Council

Interim Dean and Professor School of Nursing

Lulu Wold-Hassenplug Endowed Chair in Nursing

11/12/2015 "Building UC Quits: The UC-Wide Tobacco Cessation Network" at UC Davis Ground Rounds.

3/11/2016 The Cancer Care Network will be hosting a new, all-staff video conference on Smoking Cessation.

Associate Professor of Medicine

Elisa Tong, MD, MA - UC Davis

3/2/2016 ANII All-Here Day meeting



Congratulations to UCSF pharmacy faculty Lisa Kroon and Robin Corelli for helping with California pharmacists now being able to prescribe nicotine medication. Go to "Provider Training" to read the California Board of Pharmacy media release and protocol. Pharmacists can fulfill the 2-hour training requirement with our UC Quits webinar modules.

1/6/2016 CNIII All-Here Day,

12/8/2015 UCD nurse outreach PCS meeting,

Cari Shulkin, R.N-B.C, B.S.N - UC Davis

Lisa Kroon, PharmD (left)

Robin Corelli, PharmD (Right)


Partner Programs

The Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (SCLC) is a nation program office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. SCLC aims to increase smoking cessation rates as well as the number of health professionals helping smokers quit. The Center creates partnerships with a variety of groups and institutions to develop and implement action plans around smoking cessation.

The Rx for Change program is a comprehensive tobacco cessation training program that equips health professional student sand practicing clinicians, of all disciplines, with evidence-based knowledge and skills for assisting patients with quitting.

The CEASE (Clinical Effort Against Secondhand Smoke Exposure) program is an innovative program to reduce the burden of secondhand smoke on children by training pediatric providers to help parents quit smoking using the Ask, Assist, Connect model.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force has recommended lung cancer screening for patients who are 55-80 years old and a current smoker (30 pack years or equivalent of 1 pack for 30 years) or former smoker (quit within 15 years). For more information, please visit the UC lung cancer screening program websites.