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Joanna Cummings, M.ED. is the author of Kick Butts, Take Names and Buttkickers, the latter as her alter ego, Nicci Tina, The Ambassador of Buttkicking.

With more than twenty years of experience as a clinician and educator, and as many years as a dedicated smoker (starting at age twelve), Joanna Cummings has emerged as an authority on tobacco cessation, advocating a global paradigm shift she calls Kick Butts, Take Names. The mission: changing the way the world sees and responds to tobacco. She also calls this work tobactivism. Joanna’s approach is multi-faceted, including both innovative and evidence-based strategies, and she considers the art of it as important as the science. Her favorite ways of effecting change include talking with healthcare providers about how to approach their patients about tobacco and, as Nicci Tina, talking with tobacco users themselves in the street, often while they are smoking.

“This isn’t just about tobacco; this is about connection, about being fully alive with one another, and serving life. Each and every one of us is a powerful messenger, and we can make a profound difference in the life - and life expectancy - of a tobacco user. To maximize our effectiveness, we need to become more empathic listeners, to stop the well-intentioned nagging, and get much more discerning and creative about the way we deliver the message: Yes, you can kick tobacco. You absolutely can… and this is how you can do it. Tobacco use takes more lives than all of the other drugs combined, and most of the people using it want to stop. They just don’t know how. Each and every one of us can help them get there, if we go there together.”

Find Joanna - and Nicci Tina - at

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Today’s Brilliance from Joanna Cummings

When you're ready to do something challenging in your life, don't go it alone. Even if you're able to accomplish whatever it is solo, do this: take names. Take the names of great teachers to help you get there, and friends to bring along for the ride. Then, when you get to where you're going - which you're much more likely to do when you take names - you'll have lots of friends to celebrate with you! I call my work Kick Butts, Take Names. The focus is on tobacco - that's the buttkicking part - but the more important…

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