Meet the TTS Faculty: Sally Herndon
Over the next few weeks, the Duke-UNC Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training Program will be introducing each member of our team individually. We’ve asked each faculty member a series of questions to learn more about their interests in tobacco cessation work. We hope that you enjoy getting to know each member of the TTS faculty a bit better over the course of this series!
Next in our Meet the Faculty series is Sally Herndon, Head of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch at NC DHHS. Sally manages the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch and coordinates evidence-based tobacco prevention and control in North Carolina. She is Past Chair of the national Tobacco Control Network, 2011-2013, and has a background in health promotion/disease prevention. Notably, Sally helped build support for the 2010 law that makes all NC restaurants and bars smoke free and worked with state and local partners to successfully implement the new law. Her ongoing work involves working with state, regional and local partners to 1) reduce tobacco use by young people; 2) eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke; 3) help all tobacco users who want to quit; and 4) eliminate tobacco-attributable health disparities.
How did you become a part of the Duke-UNC TTS program?
As the Head of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch in the NC Division of Public Health since 2000, I understood the value of partnerships and the need for the Duke-UNC TTS Program. I was delighted to help bring together the leadership team, which combines complementary assets of research, clinical practice, and public health to make a stronger more well-rounded training opportunity.
What began your interest in this work?
I was very interested in tobacco prevention and cessation work in graduate school at the UNC School of Public Health, and then in my first position with the Maine Department of Health, where I worked as the Health Promotion Coordinator with Ed Miller on the Maine Coalition on Smoking or Health.
How long have you been working in tobacco cessation?
I returned to my home state of North Carolina, where I became Program Manager for NC's Project ASSIST, the American Stop Smoking Intervention Study, funded by the National Cancer Institute in partnership with the American Cancer Society, from 1991-1999.
What makes you passionate about this work?
Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in NC and the nation. For every tobacco related death, 30 more people are sick or disabled due to tobacco use. We know what works to prevent this suffering and the hardship it causes on families. Together, we can put in place policy, systems, and environmental changes to prevent tobacco use initiation among young people, eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke and aerosol, promote evidence-based tobacco treatment, and eliminate tobacco-attributable health disparities.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with people about yourself or your work?
I so enjoy being a part of the Duke-UNC TTS team and learning from all who go through the program!