Affecting Change in Tobacco Dependence through Nursing Education

Kelly Jean Henson-Evertz, St. Catherine University


More than 20% of the population in the United Sates (U.S.) is tobacco dependent. Tobacco abuse is a chronic relapsing condition that requires intervention with effective tobacco dependence treatment such as cessation education, counseling, and medication. Nurses are on the frontline of patient care education, and have the potential to be effective change agents in tobacco dependence. A literature review found a consistent lack of (a) standardized tobacco education curricula in nursing programs, (b) student tobacco cessation knowledge, (c) self- efficacy, (d) clinical experience with tobacco dependent patients, and (e) undergraduate nursing faculty beliefs, values, or perceptions. Recommendations call for instituting universal standardized tobacco education in U.S. nursing curricula, further research, and anti-tobacco advocacy.