Nursing Education to Reduce Use of Tobacco and Alternative Tobacco Products: Change Is Imperative

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. OBJECTIVE: To assess perceived tobacco educational preparation of undergraduate and graduate nurses in a large urban university. DESIGN: A cross-sectional web-based survey of all nursing students in an urban college of nursing was conducted to assess perceived tobacco educational content, skills, and self-efficacy for cessation counseling with patients who smoke cigarettes and use alternative tobacco products (e.g., hookah and e-cigarettes). RESULTS: Participants reported the most education about health effects of tobacco use (67%), and less than 6% reported education about alternative tobacco products. While the majority of nurses agreed that advising patients to quit is a priority, less than 40% reported receiving sufficient training in cessation counseling. CONCLUSIONS: There continues to be a compelling need articulated by leaders in tobacco policy and research over the past decade for a more vigorous response by nurses to the tobacco epidemic.

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