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Payne appointed to national certification committee

Published on Monday, February 26, 2018

Media Contact: Cynthia Wall


Dr. Thomas Payne, director of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s tobacco treatment program, was selected to serve on the Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification Development Committee, a group developing a national certification process for tobacco treatment specialists.

Payne, director of the ACT Center for Tobacco Treatment, Education and Research, a part of the UMMC Cancer Institute, recently completed his term as president of the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD), the organization that appointed him to the committee.

“Mark Twain once commented that stopping smoking was easy, I’ve done it a thousand times,’” said Dr. John Ruckdeschel, UMMC Cancer Institute director and a lung cancer specialist in the Thoracic Interdisciplinary Program. “His facetious comments about the difficulties in smoking cessation are really at the heart of successful cessation.  People can stop all the time, it’s keeping them stopped that is the trick and that is where centers like the ACT come into play. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a well-developed approach to tobacco cessation here in Mississippi.”

As ATTUD president Payne worked to create a nationally-recognized certification for those who deliver treatment services to people who are trying to quit using tobacco. As the ACT Center director he regularly trains tobacco treatment specialists locally and nationwide.

Certification assures patients and payers that tobacco treatment counselors have received accredited training and are knowledgeable about high-quality, evidence-based therapies. Training focuses on standards and competencies for counselors and on therapies that work.

The Certification Development Committee includes members from ATTUD, the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs; NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals; and the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals.