The Tobacco Dependence Program was founded in 1991 when the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services awarded a grant to Dr. John Slade to help alcohol and drug treatment agencies integrate tobacco policies and tobacco dependence treatment into their programs.
Originally named, “Addressing Tobacco in the Treatment of Other Addictions,” the program provided consultation and training throughout New Jersey. With additional support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the program became known nationwide for its innovative work. In the year 2000, having become part of the UMDNJ - School of Public Health, the name “Tobacco Dependence Program” was adopted and the program received significant funding from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services through the Master Settlement Agreement. This allowed for expansion into consultation and training for mental health agencies, and agencies working with young people, modeled on the ongoing services provided to drug and alcohol treatment agencies.
Since 2000, the training and education activities have increased substantially to include outreach to all New Jersey health professionals, including the training of staff at New Jersey's network of tobacco dependence treatment centers (Quitcenters).