City of Austin Performance Report 2015-16

Number of Tobacco Related Deaths

Measure Description
This measure represents the number of tobacco related deaths in the city of Austin.  Tobacco is the number one preventable cause of death in Travis County accounting for more deaths each year than AIDS, crack, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, car accidents, fire, murder and suicide - combined.  Tracking this measure is critical to assessing the on-going burden of tobacco use within Austin and Travis County. 
Calculation Method
This measure is calculated based on the number of death certificates from the city of Austin that identify tobacco as a contributing factor to cause of death, indicating yes or probably on death certificate. The calculation is the sum of the total number of tobacco-related deaths captured at the end of each month.
FY 2015-16 Results
In FY 2015-16 there were 671 tobacco-related deaths, which is roughly an 8% decrease in tobacco-related deaths from FY 2014-15.
Assessment of Results
This measure is monitored monthly to detect a rise or reduction in, tobacco-related deaths in the Austin/Travis County population. The number of death certificates from the city of Austin that identify tobacco as a contributing factor to cause of death, indicating yes or probably on death certificate, are assessed and appropriate interventions implemented. Currently, there are 89 organizations in Travis County with 100% tobacco-free policies and 39 organizations with 100% smoke-free policies, totaling approximately 815 locations around the county. The locations include: five large high-tech corporations, 65 multi-unit housing locations, 204 healthcare and fitness locations, 57 Travis County Municipal properties, 56 City of Austin work sites, 17 community college and university campuses, and all City and County parks.  In FY 2015-16, Austin Public Health provided support to Austin Resource Center for the Homeless and Housing Authority of Travis County to implement smoke-free policies.  In addition, significant outreach and awareness activities took place to promote cessation services and prevention of tobacco use among young adults. Austin Public Health continues to support work sites and housing communities to implement tobacco-free and smoke-free policies.
Next Steps
Austin Public Health will continue to monitor tobacco-related deaths in the Austin/Travis County area. The importance of this measure is to ensure effective and appropriate tobacco control interventions are implemented to minimize the burden of tobacco-related deaths in the community. The target goal for FY 2016-17 is a 4.3% reduction in tobacco-attributable deaths (from 690 to 650).
Contact Information
For more information, contact Philip Huang, MD, MPH Medical Director/Health Authority at (512) 972-5855.