Strategic Directions for Nursing Research in Tobacco Dependence

This paper seeks to summarize current research into smoking cessation programs as well as to develop a strategic research agenda to focus future research on nurses' involvement in such programs. The authors reviewed information from researchers, clinicians, educators, agencies and other organizations that participated in a one-day conference on tobacco cessation.

Tobacco continues to be the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. Smoking cessation programs have been shown to be critical elements in helping smokers quit and nurses' input in these programs have a "proven, positive effect." Nurses constitute the largest group of health care professionals. The paper also lists resources for information about, and funding of, tobacco cessation programs.

Priority areas identified included: enhancing training of nurses in tobacco control methods; increasing multidisciplinary interventions, e.g., between nurses and physicians, psychologists, pharmacologists, etc; increasing funding for programs; studying relationships between smoking interventions and interventions for other health problems such as obesity; insuring scientific rigor in studies of tobacco cessation; examining health care systems factors; and many others. Particularly important is the translation of research into practice and the need to "support strategies to insure that evidence-based" interventions become standard clinical practice. Encouraging nurses themselves to quit smoking is important for their own health, and because nurses who smoke are less likely to encourage patients to stop smoking.