Nursing education and beliefs towards tobacco cessation and control: a cross- sectional national survey (GHPSS) among nursing students in Greece
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University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece
Center for Global Tobacco Control, Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston MA, USA
Smoking and Lung Cancer Research Center, Hellenic Anticancer Society, Athens, Greece
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health, Global Tobacco Control Program, Atlanta, GA, USA
National School of Public Health, Athens, Greece
School of Medicine, University of Athens, Greece
Submission date: 2010-08-06
Acceptance date: 2011-05-06
Publication date: 2011-05-06
Corresponding author
Evridiki Patelarou   

University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Constantine I. Vardavas   

Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2011;9(May):4
Within the healthcare system, nurses have the ability to influence their patients’ smoking habits through counselling. Therefore, it is of great importance to appropriately train health professionals on smoking cessation strategies with the aim to help them provide advice to their patients. In light of the above, the objective of this study was to assess the association between Greek nursing students’ beliefs towards tobacco control/ smoking cessation and the professional training received.

During February 2009, we conducted a cross sectional national survey among all 3rd year nursing students of the two university based nursing departments in Greece (University of Athens, University of the Peloponnese). The Global Health Professional Student Survey (GHPSS) questionnaire was applied and following written informed consent 73% provided a completed questionnaire (n = 192/263 enrolled students).

Overall, 33% were current active smokers, while 74% reported ever to experiment smoking. In regards to their beliefs towards tobacco control policies, non smokers were more positive in regards to banning smoking in restaurants (94% vs. 61%, p < 0.001), in bars and cafes (82% vs. 34%, p < 0.001), and all public places (93% vs. 51%, p < 0.001) when compared to current smokers. In comparison with students who had not received training on the importance of asking patients about their smoking habits, those that did were more likely to believe that nurses should have a role in smoking cessation and should act as role models for their patients.

Resources should be invested in improving the quality of undergraduate education in nursing departments in Greece with respect to tobacco control and smoking cessation.

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