November 7, 2014

Training Teaches Skills for Helping Smokers Quit

Tobacco cessation expert Denise Jolicoeur (center) of the University of Massachusetts Medical School is joined by UAMS’ Erna Boone, Dr.P.H., (left) and Claudia Barone, Ed.D., A.P.R.N.

Nov. 7, 2014 | What motivates one person to quit smoking may not motivate another. That’s why successful tobacco cessation programs are designed to address the needs of individuals and offer a variety of support systems for kicking the habit.

A four-day training offered at UAMS in October offered health care professionals from across Arkansas the chance to learn techniques they can use to begin or strengthen tobacco cessation programs in their local communities.

Internationally recognized tobacco cessation expert Denise Jolicoeur led the training, which was attended by nurses, respiratory therapists, physicians, psychologists and pharmacists from UAMS and other Arkansas organizations. One hundred percent of funding for the training was provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

Jolicoeur is senior project manager and training program manager for the Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

“Participants are learning the skills they need to intervene with tobacco users in a variety of different health care settings and help them quit,” Jolicoeur said.

Topics included how to broach the topic of tobacco use, medications that can make quitting tobacco easier and more tolerable, and ideas for incorporating tobacco cessation into existing health care programs, such as cardiac care and respiratory care. Role playing activities gave participants the chance to practice a counseling technique called motivational interviewing, during which smokers are assisted in building their personal motivation to quit.

“We hope to develop a group of tobacco treatment specialists at UAMS who will take this knowledge into their respective areas and develop programs for the hospital and outpatient clinics,” said Claudia Barone, Ed.D., A.P.R.N.

Barone is one of three certified tobacco treatment specialists at UAMS, along with thoracic surgeon Matthew Steliga, M.D., and Patricia Franklin, A.P.R.N. Read about UAMS’ tobacco cessation support group and clinic-based program here.

Following the training, Barone and colleague Erna Boone, Dr.P.H., will be qualified to conduct the cessation trainings, which they plan to continue on a regular basis at UAMS. Boone is chair of the Department of Respiratory and Surgical Technologies in the College of Health Professions.

“We hope to reach health care providers across disciplines,” Boone said, adding that the more people who encourage a smoker to quit, the more likely they are to be successful.