Lead authorship is shared by Drs Rigotti and Bitton.
An international survey of training programs for treating tobacco dependence
Article first published online: 15 JAN 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 104, Issue 2, pages 288–296, February 2009
How to Cite
Rigotti, N. A., Bitton, A., Richards, A. E., Reyen, M., Wassum, K. and Raw, M. (2009), An international survey of training programs for treating tobacco dependence. Addiction, 104: 288–296. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02442.x
- Issue published online: 15 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 15 JAN 2009
- Submitted 26 August 2008; initial review completed 29 September 2008; final version accepted 20 October 2008
- Tobacco use cessation;
- world health
Aims The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) requires countries to implement tobacco dependence treatment programs. To provide treatment effectively, a country needs trained individuals to deliver these services. We report on the global status of programs that train individuals to provide tobacco dependence treatment.
Design Cross-sectional web-based survey of tobacco treatment training programs in a stratified convenience sample of countries chosen to vary by WHO geographic region and World Bank income level.
Participants Key informants in 48 countries; 70% of 69 countries who were sent surveys responded.
Measurements Program prevalence, frequency, duration and size; background of trainees; content (adherence to pre-defined core competencies); funding sources; challenges.
Findings We identified 61 current tobacco treatment training programs in 37 (77%) of 48 countries responding to the survey. Three-quarters of them began in 2000 or later, and 40% began after 2003, when the FCTC was adopted. Programs estimated training 14 194 individuals in 2007. Training was offered to a variety of professionals and paraprofessionals, but most often to physicians and nurses. Median program duration was 16 hours, but programs' duration, intensity and size varied widely. Most programs used evidence-based guidelines and reported adherence to core tobacco treatment competencies. Training programs were less frequent in low-income countries and in Africa. Securing funding was the major challenge for most programs; current funding sources were government (58%), non-government organizations (23%), pharmaceutical companies (17%) and, in one case, the tobacco industry.
Conclusion Training programs for tobacco treatment providers are diverse and growing. Most upper- and middle-income countries have programs, and most programs appear to be evidence-based. However, funding is a major challenge. In particular, more programs are needed for non-physicians and for low-income countries.