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WVU Health Sciences Programs Offer Students One-of-a-Kind Tobacco Cure Certification | Today

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As part of its mission to provide comprehensive oral care and support the overall well-being of patients, students at the WVU School of Dentistry offered oral cancer screenings and quitting education. tobacco and nicotine as part of an outreach initiative on campus in September 2021.
(Photo WVU)

Fueled by a desire to reduce the burden of illness and disease for the citizens of West Virginia, four academic health science programs at West Virginia University have integrated Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist training nationally recognized in their programs.

WVU Certified Tobacco Treatment Training Programone of 25 programs globally accredited by the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs and the first of its kind developed within a dental school, began offering certification courses in 2018 for healthcare providers from the region.

Upon graduation, students enrolled in Dental Hygiene, Dental Surgery, Pharmacy, and Physician Assistant programs will become the first health science graduates in the United States to earn certification through their program. academically trained, enabling them to better support the communities they will serve.

“Clinicians identified lack of tobacco treatment education as a barrier to providing cessation services,” said Suann Gaydos, director of the certified tobacco treatment education program. “Our students will graduate with the increased knowledge, confidence and skills needed to reduce tobacco-related illness and death in future patients.”

As the School of Dentistry curriculum evolved, the leadership team expressed interest in starting an initiative to embed the training into each school’s curriculum and increase our awareness of tobacco treatment. , said Gaydos.

West Virginia consistently ranks among the top three states with the highest smoking prevalence rate (25.2%), nearly twice the national average (14%). Young people in West Virginia are also much more likely to be current smokers and to engage in e-cigarette use, or vaping, than those in other states across the country.

National statistics indicate that 70% of tobacco users want to quit, and a 2019 Youth Behavioral Risk Survey found that 53% of West Virginia high school students have attempted to quit in the past. the last year, but have not been able to stop their use. due to a high level of nicotine addiction. Moreover, less than 5% of people who want to quit smoking receive behavioral counseling and pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation.

In addition to receiving smoking cessation education as part of their coursework, students in WVU’s programs must complete an eight-hour tobacco treatment education review session to learn all tobacco skills. required for certification. Following the session, participants must pass the certification exam with a mark of at least 80% and acknowledge that they no longer smoke.

Ultimately, the systematic integration of the Certified Tobacco Treatment Curriculum into the curricula of WVU’s five health sciences schools – dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health – is envisioned to expand certification to hundreds of graduates each year.

Tobacco treatment specialists are able to target an individual’s level of nicotine addiction and provide effective, evidence-based interventions using pharmacotherapy and counseling. The tailored approach has been shown to have higher smoking abstinence rates than traditional methods.

Tobacco use disorder is a chronic relapsing disease and remains the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. Smoking leads to multiple health disparities such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, loss of dental periodontium and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Diseases such as cancer of the mouth, pancreas and esophagus, as well as periodontal disease/gum attachment loss, dental caries and increased stroke and heart disease, are associated with smoking smokeless.

Tobacco use is harmful to everyone’s health, but especially that of young people. Youth tobacco use, including vaping, also harms parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. Children exposed to second-hand smoke are at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slow lung growth.

Reducing tobacco use throughout West Virginia could also contribute to a decrease in substance use. Studies show that people with substance use disorders are less likely to return to drug use if they quit smoking.

(Editor’s Note: The Smoking Treatment Education for Students Review will be held Monday, April 11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the WVU Health Sciences Center. Session details are available in the full schedule. Media planning to attend should contact [email protected] or [email protected])

-WVU-

jw/04/07/22

MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Wilmoth
WVU Health Sciences
304-293-9528; [email protected]

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