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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use and exposure to tobacco use are responsible for 1 of 5 deaths in the United States, and each year kills more than 500, 000 Americans. Today and every day in the USA more than 6,000 preteens and teenage youngsters start smoking, chewing, and dipping tobacco products. In the Americas alone, smoking results in the loss of 600,000 lives a year or 1 of 3 deaths attributable to tobacco.

According to the World Health Organization, currently 5 million people world-wide die every year as a result of tobacco use. If these current trends continue, the predicted number of annual tobacco-related deaths in the world by 2020 will triple to 8.4 million exceeding all previous statistical forecasts. Smoke-Free Educational Services, Inc., asserts that the greatest, preventable cause of death and disease in every developed country and most developing countries in the world today and tomorrow will be tobacco addiction.

How difficult is it to quit tobacco? For many people it is very difficult to quit without behavioral intervention, counseling, and support. In 1993 a panel of health experts rated nicotine in tobacco products as having a 100% potential for leading the user into an easy addiction for life. Tobacco addiction was rated higher than the addictive potential of methamphetamine, valium, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD, caffeine, and eight other popular drugs. Many people relapse when trying to quit tobacco and a number find it necessary to make 7 or more serious quit attempts to eventually succeed in the short-term. Individuals learning self/stress-reduction skills and behavioral management techniques who use daily strategies reinforced with basic, life-style and social climate changes typically reach higher levels of success without relapse in the long run.

If you would like to learn how you can become a online distance-learner, community volunteer, program advocate, and qualified service provider, start with a Tobacco-Cessation Specialist (TCS) Certificate and/or one of the many degree programs with Akamai University in education, social psychology, addiction, human service, and social studies. Contact Akamai University for details.

The following TCS Certificate program is open to any adult learner having personal, vocational, career, academic, professional, and/or community service interests in helping self or others quit tobacco products for improved health, self-management skills, life-style changes well-being, and creative productivity.

Akamai University's Associate, Bachelor's and Graduate degrees and interdisciplinary programs (c.f., Center for Education and Literacy, Center for Applied Psychology and Human Services, Center for Sustained Development's Institute of Social Studies) all may provide individualized, educational opportunities for integrating earned TCS certificate credit hours into major or minor degree programs. Contact Akamai University for details.

Admittance to any Akamai University program is based upon an assumption that you have the background attributes and access to learning resources to achieve the objectives of your selected program. To assure a high likelihood for your success in this certificate program applicants should have completed at least a secondary diploma or equivalent and have meaningful experience with tobacco cessation programs and services.

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As part of your application, you are asked to provide assurance that you can successfully access appropriate learning resources including texts, journals, periodicals, databases, video- and audiotapes, online resources, relevant reference materials, and manuals of effective research and writing. These are the required materials through which your instructors will guide you in understanding foundational theories, principles and practices, and advanced concepts in your field of study. If you have access to an academic library through a local university, please provide verification that access will remain in effect for the duration of your studies. As an alternative, you may enroll in
Questia Online Library via the University’s portal. Under either condition, we ask that you verify access to needed learning resources.

You must also certify you have access to a computer, a telephone, and for the duration of your program have access to a confidential email account and the Internet. The University relies upon these electronic vehicles to support its major teaching and learning activities, as a means to support effective interaction with mentors and to transmit formal documents, instructions and written assignments. Through distance technologies, you are provided guidance, allowing your mentors to explore with you the subject matter at a depth that is beyond the confines of the traditional classroom.

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The Tobacco-Cessation Specialist Certificate is a 15-credit program (four basic courses and at least one elective course). The 17-week courses are conducted via mentored independent study and external projects, individualized to the special needs of each student. Courses may be taken in sequence (e.g., A, B, C, D), but only two sequenced courses (e.g., A, B, or B, C, or D, E, etc.) can be completed in a given 17-week enrollment period with instructor approval. The TCS Certificate is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 15 credit hours.

Required Courses (all four of the following courses)

A. TCS: 101 Introduction to Quitting Tobacco Products (3 credits)
B. TCS: 102 Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques and Strategies for Quitting Tobacco (3 credits)
C. TCS: 103 Creative Behavior, Applied Humor, and Online Resources for Quitting Tobacco (3 credits)
D. TCS: 797 Independent Study Project (3 credits)

PLUS Elective Courses (at least one of the following)

E. TCS: 201 Counseling Adults, Families, and Students in Quit-Tobacco Services (3 credits)
F. TCS: 202 Developing School and Community Quit-Tobacco Services (3 credits)

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TCS: 101 Introduction to Quitting Tobacco Products (A) (3 credits)
This course introduces the student to problems associated with tobacco use and nonuse. The course looks at different ways one can prepare, plan, and execute an effective quit-tobacco day by one's self, with the help of other person, or within the context of a small family or work group. The course examines potential "triggers," social cues, rewards, and stressful situations that facilitate tobacco use, addiction, and self-defeating behavior. Stage theory and paper & pencil assessments will be used to locate where adults are in self-reported goal-attainment, motivation, problem-solving skills, targeted behavioral changes, and concrete quit-tobacco attempts. Examples of individualized quit-tobacco plans, worksheets, and ways to monitor behavior over time will be discussed using illustrative case materials and selected student feedback. Required text: Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for LIFE CHANGES, 2000, Infinity Publishing.com ISBN=0-7414-0481-8 [Instructor: David L. Johnson, Ph.D.]

TCS: 102 Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques and Strategies for Quitting Tobacco (B) (3 credits)
The student will be instructed and guided through the use of a variety of quit-tobacco techniques, strategies, and relapse-prevention activities. The relative importance of and the daily use of multiple combinations of aversion, hypnosis, behavioral modification, relaxation, self-affirmation, scripting, audio-taping, and other stress-management applications will by discussed and practiced. Individualized quit-tobacco programs and plans to quit tobacco for life will be reviewed, discussed, and supported by case illustrations, selected student reports, and instructor feedback. Required text: Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for LIFE CHANGES, 2000, Infinity Publishing.com ISBN=0-7414-0481-8 and audio-cassette, Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for LIFE CHANGES, 2001 (available from the instructor at davej@ipa.net) [Instructor: David L. Johnson, Ph.D.]

TCS: 103 Creative Behavior, Applied Humor, and Online Resources for Quitting Tobacco (C) (3 credits)
This course will review some of the creativity and humor research applicable to spontaneous behavioral activities and patterns of communication, leadership, self-management, and problem-solving behavior helpful to individuals and others changing tobacco-use behavior. Social applications and examples of laughter, humor, and creative behavioral content applied to quit-tobacco behavior will be discussed and illustrated in verbal, nonverbal, and written modes of expression. A review and assessment of quit-tobacco resources and materials online will be discussed. The student will participate, share resources and offer examples of creative and laughing behavior that illustrate course principles, stress-relief, mental/emotional flexibility and originality in self and others when interacting with others quitting tobacco, changing daily habit and life-style patterns. Required text: Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for LIFE CHANGES, 2000, Infinity Publishing.com ISBN=0-7414-0481-8 [Instructor: David L. Johnson, Ph.D.]

TCS: 797 Independent Study Project (D) (3 credits)
The student will select, design, and carry out a study of individual, family, group, and community organization, or agency's quit-tobacco activities and services. The student will document, quantify, assess, and provide a written report on the prevention, intervention, educational, or other quit-tobacco services selected for study. [Instructor: David L. Johnson, Ph.D.]

TCS: 201 Counseling Adults, Families, and Students in Quit-Tobacco Services (E1) (3 credits)
This course will review counseling principles, methods, relationships, and behavioral problems to be addressed and managed at any point in a person's efforts to quit tobacco, cope with stress, initiate life-style and behavioral changes. Special consideration and discussion will be focused on the student's current role(s) and possible human service activity in quit-tobacco settings with examples, resources, feedback, and materials received during the course. [Instructor: David L. Johnson, Ph.D.]

TCS: 202 Developing School and Community Quit-Tobacco Services (E2) (3 credits)
This course will present models, program materials and suggested activities that might be introduced, monitored, and managed in schools, community or faith-based organizations, health and social service agencies, businesses, human resources and Employee Assistance programs, professional associations, foundations, volunteer and nonprofit organizations or others that want to offer one or more prevention, education, intervention, maintenance, training, research, funding, and material support of proactive, quit-tobacco services. Current student involvement in school and/or civic program developments will be explored for possible quit-tobacco service applications. [Instructor: David L. Johnson, Ph.D.]

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David L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Dr. Johnson earned his BA in Sociology and English at Southwest Missouri State University, his MSW in Psychiatric Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Sociology and Psychology at the University of Missouri at Columbia. He has taught for Arizona State, Baylor, Illinois, Missouri, Southwest Missouri State, New Mexico, Ottawa, the National Graduate College of Education, and alternative programs of higher learning. Dr. Johnson takes pride in his participation in the early movement to broaden gifted and talented education beyond the academic and his pioneering work in the behavioral identification of creativity, leadership, communication skills in disadvantaged children and adults. He has authored five systemic behavioral observation instruments (c.f. Social Interaction and Creativity-in-Communications System) and 18 tape programs for personal and social development and health and wellness. Dr. Johnson has special training and experience in stress management, hypnosis, aversion, health and wellness, tobacco and food addictions, training, education, applied field research, group dynamics, and therapies focused on social behavioral/health issues. He has written and performed a variety of personal growth materials including three tapes on tobacco-cessation and a self-help workbook, Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for LIFE CHANGES (2000). In addition to distance learning, research, and writing interests, Dr. Johnson founded and provides free tobacco-cessation services under the auspices of a not-for-profit "Healthy Life Changes" cadre of volunteers. He may be contacted directly by
email or via the LIFECHANGES Website.

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