Nurses, of whom over 98% are women, smoke at a rate that exceeds that of other health professionals, women professionals and women in general. Nurses who smoke suffer obvious health consequences but their smoking also has an impact on their patients: Nurses who smoke are less likely to counsel their patients about the hazards of smoking. Importantly, approximately one half of nurses adopt regular smoking during their nurse training or soon after they enter the workforce. Thus, an intervention to control smoking among nurses might be profitably included in a nursing school curriculum. The proposed study will evaluate a four component nursing school-based intervention, the Comprehensive Smoking Control Intervention (CSCI) package. The primary component of CSCI is a program to teach nurses how to operate smoking cessation programs. The other three components of the program will include: (1) a smoking cessation program on campus, (2) a health information and consultation service for students interested in helping others stop smoking, and (3) a health marketing campaign targeted at nursing students. Three experimental schools who receive the treatment package will be compared with three no-treatment control schools. The short-term objectives of the intervention are: 1) to prevent the adoption of smoking by non-smokers; 2) to motivate irregular or light smokers as well as regular smokers to attempt cessation either on their own or through enrollment in a cessation clinic; 3) to identify effective marketing strategies to accomplish the first two objectives; and 4) to determine how much it will cost to decrease the incidence of smoking among nurses. The long-term objectives of the project are to ensure a lower rate of smoking among treatment subjects and to increase the amount of cessation treatment delivered by nurses once they enter the workforce.
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