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Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) Training


This program prepares professionals with appropriate educational and experiential backgrounds to deliver a high-intensity, evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment for nicotine dependence.

The ACT Center has trained Tobacco Treatment Specialists (TTS) since 1999, both in Mississippi and locations nationally. This program represents an expansion of the approach developed and employed to train clinical psychology residents at the University of Mississippi and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers Psychology Residency Consortium during 1985-2000 (under Dr. Payne's direction).

Program faculty have extensive experience in the direct provision of clinical services for nicotine dependence, program management, and TTS training. In addition, ACT Center faculty and colleagues are actively involved in research focused on understanding and managing nicotine dependence, including clinical assessment, behavioral interventions, treatment adherence, pharmacotherapy, dissemination of treatment, and the genetics of nicotine dependence (please see our recent publications).

Program Description

Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training Program: Emphasizes the acquisition of fundamental knowledge and skills relevant to understanding the addictive nature of tobacco use, its impact on health and other factors, and key clinical activities for assessing and treating the nicotine dependent individual. A unique aspect of this program is that clinical skills are taught within the context of mastering the ACT Center Tobacco Treatment protocol. This manualized, evidence-based approach is the product of many years of testing and experience, and represents an effective balance of state-of-the-art clinical procedures.

Interactive presentations and extensive use of hands-on exercises are interwoven throughout the workshop experience to facilitate the attainment of training goals. All the necessary resources are provided, including the detailed Therapist Treatment Guide, the complementary Client Workbook, and supplemental clinical forms. Finally, common administrative and treatment program evaluation issues are reviewed, to prepare attendees for managing a clinical service.

Both the workshop curriculum and treatment program are routinely updated, incorporating the latest advances emerging in the published scientific literature.

This program was designed to provide the necessary content and experiences for enrollees to achieve the Competency Standards for TTSs, as set forth by the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD). This program is fully accredited by the ATTUD / Council on Tobacco Treatment Training Program (CTTTP) as a TTS Training Program.

Please note that certification procedures are in the process of change. The ACT Center and other CTTTP-Accredited TTS Training Programs no longer certify individuals. New procedures to obtain a national certificate are now in place. Procedures for those who were previously trained / certified as well as for new trainees are available. Click here for more information.

Training Program Topics and Activities

  • Workshop Overview, Training Philosophy, Societal Context
  • Tobacco's Toll: Health, Economic, and Other Impacts
  • The Biopsychosocial Model
  • Nicotine Dependence
  • Environmental Tobacco Smoke
  • Comprehensive Assessment of the Tobacco User
  • The First Contact
  • The Intake Evaluation and the Treatment Plan
  • PHS (2008) Guideline Overview
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Group Therapy Techniques and Strategies
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Improving Motivation
  • Maintaining Abstinence
  • Delivering Treatment Sessions 1-6: Modeling and Practice
  • Delivering Follow-up Sessions: Modeling and Practice
  • System and Administrative Considerations
  • Treatment Program Evaluation
The ACT Center at tThe University of Mississippi Medical Center
The University of Mississippi Medical Center