Challenges in Implementing Smoking Cessation Training

Tobacco consumption represents a significant threat to public health, responsible for approximately 700.000 deaths per year in Europe. Despite these figures, 28% of European adults are smokers, suggesting the maintenance and even increase of the burden of tobacco-related diseases in Europe. 

The scientific evidence demonstrates the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation treatments. Health professionals play a key role in promoting and supporting tobacco cessation, particularly nurses. As the largest health workforce group, nurses are best positioned to respond to health education and promotion needs and encourage smoking cessation in different clinical contexts. 

The WHO recommends integrating smoking cessation content into the curricula of all health professionals. The knowledge and skills for smoking cessation interventions are multidisciplinary contents that all health professionals must learn during their training. Thus, health students must acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to treat tobacco dependence to reduce the burden of tobacco-related diseases. 

An online educational resource was developed within the scope of the INSTrUCT Project (Erasmus+ KA2 Project - 2019-1-ES01-KA203-064496) to promote training in smoking among university Health Sciences students. This resource’s virtual scenarios and debriefing allow students to experience real-life situations in a virtual context, available in four languages (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese). It has been implemented and is currently being tested on nursing students from several universities, including the Nursing School of Coimbra. After evaluating its efficacy, this resource will be available free of charge to all European universities to implement in their health curricula.

The consortium includes 8 institutions, from 4 European countries: 

- Institut Catala d’ Oncologia - Coordinator (Spain); 

- Universidad de Navarra (Spain);

- Universitat de Barcelona (Spain); 

- Universitat de Lleida (Spain); 

- King’s College London (United Kingdom); 

- Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra (ESEnfC), Unidade de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde: Enfermagem (UICISA: E) (Portugal); 

- Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium); 

- Erasmushogeschool Brussel (Belgium).


The International Meeting - Challenges in Implementing Smoking Cessation Training has the following objectives: 

To share state-of-the-art practices and relevant scientific contributions based on the experience of international smoking cessation experts; 

To disseminate the process of construction, implementation, and evaluation of this innovative strategy based on new technologies (INSTrUCT); 

To disseminate the INSTrUCT (online educational resource on smoking cessation) to all European higher health education institutions; 

To strengthen the international network developing smoking cessation projects.


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