Tobacco Intervention Practices of Postsecondary Campus Nurses in Ontario

Kelli-an G. Lawrance, Heather Elizabeth Travis, Sharon A. Lawler

Abstract


Cessation interventions offered by nurses to postsecondary students could represent an important strategy for reducing smoking among young adults. This study examines how nurses working in campus health clinics identify smokers and provide cessation support. Of 108 nurses working at 16 universities in the Canadian province of Ontario, 83 completed a researcher-designed questionnaire. Of these, 8.2% asked almost all patients about their tobacco use and 27.4% asked almost none; 83.1% advised identified smokers to quit, 63.9% offered them assistance, and 59.0% arranged follow-up visits. Smoking was most often assessed during patient visits for respiratory or cardiovascular concerns. Assistance most often involved referral of smokers to other professionals or services. A government-funded tobacco control initiative implemented on 10 of the 16 campuses had limited influence on whether nurses assessed tobacco use and advised cessation. Education and support may be needed to improve the frequency and quality of tobacco interventions provided by nurses working on postsecondary campuses.

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