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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Internet Based Tobacco and Health Course and Database for Health Professionals in Finland

H. Patrick Sandström, Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, National Public Health Institute, Mannerheimintie 166, Helsinki, 00300, Finland, Hertta Heinonen, Department of Public Health and General Practise, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, 70211, Finland, and Kristiina Patja, Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, National Public Health Institute (KTL), Mannerheimintie 166, Helsinki, 00300, Finland.

Objective: There is continuous need to build easy to use tools for health professionals to obtain information about health effects of nicotine and tobacco in order to provide the best possible advice to patients trying to quit smoking. This educational tool has to be readily available for both health professionals and students.

Methods: A database on health effects of tobacco by medical specialty is created. An internet based interactive test is added for educational purposes. Pilot seminars are arranged in university medical faculties and discussions are conducted to make tobacco and health part of the curriculum.

Results: The database and the interactive test of skills and knowledge have been built as part of the Finnish smoking cessation internet site Pilot seminars for students of the five university medical faculties have been carried out. The seminars included expert lecturers from the National Public Health Institute as well as local experts, usually physicians with a specialty in pulmonary diseases or public health. The seminars have been a success, both regarding number of students attending and enthusiasm and cooperation of local experts. More detailed feedback will be available during 2006. Conclusions: The next step is integrating the tobacco and health theme properly in the curriculum of each of the university medical faculties and based on the feedback, develop the database into an even more practical tool for the physician in his daily work. This educational model will also be integrated in the education and daily work of nurses and pharmacists.

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