Smoking cessation knowledge and attitudes towards training in UK 2nd year medical students

Jennifer A Cleland, G. Lee, James Friend

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Smoking remains a major public health problem in the UK (Callum. Health Education Authority, 1995). Clinician-delivered advice has a small but beneficial effect on patients' smoking rates but the current level of delivery of smoking cessation intervention in real-world settings is not high (Russell et al. BMJ 1979;2:231–5). Previously identified barriers to providing smoking cessation support include insufficient knowledge about smoking and intervention strategies, suggesting that provider education may increase the rate of provision of advice. Increasingly attention has been directed towards medical students as future medical practitioners and potential agents in smoking cessation (Frye & Haponik. Am J Prev Med 1996;12:4). However, as smoking-related knowledge deficits have previously been identified in medical students (e.g., Crofton et al. Med Educ 1994;28:187–96), increased efforts need to be directed at the development of knowledge and skills at the undergraduate level of training if, on qualification, these individuals are to be effective in supporting patients in stopping smoking. Here we describe a teaching session on smoking cessation delivered to 2nd year medical students, University of Aberdeen, in their Respiratory block. This incorporated learning about smoking-related knowledge and, in reference to literature from primary care (Coleman & Wilson. BJGP 1996;46:87–91) and medical education (The New Tomorrow's Doctors GMC July 2002) how best to apply this knowledge in practice using doctor-patient communication skills.
Original languageEnglish
Article number61
JournalPrimary Care Respiratory Journal
Early online date1 Jun 2003
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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