【World Health Organization】Tobacco-Free Next Generation Doctors
Date:2017-12-29 10:11 

   Doctors play critical role in reducing tobacco use–both by counselling their patients to quit smoking, and also by using their position as role models to become advocates for tobacco control, more generally.

  However, in China 40% of male doctors still smoke. It not only affects their own health, but also undermines their ability to credibly offer tobacco cessation counseling to patients.

  According to the China Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS)in 2015, almost 20% of students of medical and health professions were never taught about the dangers of smoking, and only a small proportion of the students surveyed reported receiving formal training in providing smoking cessation advice to patients. How can doctors be credible voices on tobacco control if they are not educated on it?

      Medical and health programs in universities provide a unique opportunity to educate future professionals about the dangers of tobacco use and the importance of counselling patients to quit. Research shows that the smoking rate among medical and health professional programs (7%) is less than half that of their peers in other programs (15.9%).

  Since 2007, seven top medical schools in China joined the very first program of Building Tobacco Control Capacity in Medical Universities. This number was increased to 31 in 2011 and 91 in 2013, covering all provinces (more than 70 cities) in China. In total, more than 125,000health professional students were trained.

  Prof. Yang Tingzhong worked on Building Tobacco Control Capacity in Medical University for ten years. He believes that many health professionals have misconceptions about tobacco and tobacco control, and are lacking necessary skills.

  Nowadays, tobacco control is included in the National Planned Text book to ensure it covers all medical universities. Tobacco control capacity has become a significant part of the evaluation in the Doctor Qualification Examination set by the National Physician Examination Center. Online training and interactive teaching using social media have also been developed.

  Today’s health professional students are tomorrow’s doctors and nurses. We believe the trained health professionals of the future are poised to play a greater role in supporting stronger tobacco control policies in China.

From:World Health Organization