Article Text

  1. C. A. Stratis
  1. School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA


Purpose of Study Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, taking almost half a million lives each year. While rates of tobacco use in the literature are comparable between rural and urban communities, rural towns such as Davenport, Washington are significantly less targeted for tobacco intervention, in terms of both education and policy. The goal of this project was to educate health care providers about tobacco cessation strategies they might use with their patients.

Methods Through a 1-hour workshop, local physicians were provided with the latest findings and information regarding the effects of tobacco use on individual and community levels. In addition, innovative methods were provided that could be used to educate and support patients in terminating tobacco use. Along with the workshop, the Davenport clinic was supplied with anti-tobacco posters, health-provider reference cards comparing various forms of nicotine-replacement therapy, and “tar jars” to use as props when talking to patients about the harmful effects of tobacco.

Results In total, four primary care providers, the Lincoln Hospital administrator, and a representative from the Davenport Health Office attended the workshop. There appeared to be enthusiasm for the information presented, and eagerness to make changes in both hospital policy and in the physician-patient dialogue during a clinic appointment in order to decrease tobacco use in Davenport.

Conclusion Due to decreased access to local continuing education, rural health care agencies and personnel—clinics, hospitals, physicians, and nurses—are left with a larger role in tobacco use prevention and intervention. This project provided support to health care providers for their responsibility to promote tobacco cessation.

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