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Tobacco control begins with doctors: China promoting tobacco control education at medical schools 
Date:2012-09-19 09:55 

Tobacco control is a key factor for the death in the world today. It is estimated that between 300 and 350 million smokers live in China, and the smoking prevalence in men is as high as 60%. Studies have shown each year 1.2 million deaths are caused by smoking-related diseases in China. Health professionals play critical roles in advocating for policies, providing tobacco control or smoking cessation services, and serving as role models for social change. However, currently health professionals of health institutions lack of necessary knowledge and skills for tobacco control because they haven’t got tobacco control training during their college periods in China. There are currently approximately 183 universities with public health, nursing, and clinical medicine (undergraduate student education) in China. Nearly 10, 0000 students graduate annually from these faculties, with a significant number being employed by medical institutes. The absence of tobacco control in their curriculum is not good for the national tobacco control.
Led by Professor Tingzhong Yang, Center for Tobacco Control Research Zhejiang University School of Medicine has conducted tobacco control capacity building among medical schools since 2007. 31 universities in China with Public Health schools have delivered the Tobacco Control Curriculum and established the tobacco-free campus. The current project will scale up the previous module to more universities and from public health to clinical and nursing students, which additional 60 universities will implement the tobacco control training among medical students. In total, our tobacco control training universities will account for half of the entire medical universities across China.

Prof. Yang believes that tobacco control training among medical students will raise tobacco control level significantly and contribute to the tobacco control movement in China. The medical university tobacco control capacity building also raise the teachers’ capacity though delivering the tobacco control curriculum and practice for medical students. In our previous project some teachers became local tobacco control experts.

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