Tobacco is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in this nation, yet relatively little time is devoted to its prevention or intervention in the curricula of most health professions training programs. The AHEC Tobacco Training and Cessation Program (ATTAC) is a comprehensive instructional curriculum designed to teach health professions students about tobacco, help them develop professional skills necessary to address its use with their patients, and have them serve as role models while educating youth about the dangers of tobacco through a day of service/learning in area middle schools. ATTAC brings health professions students together to learn about tobacco abuse, prevention and cessation issues. Students who participate in this program benefit from an increased understanding of tobacco use, the pharmacology of nicotine, and drug delivery systems; increased awareness of the effects of smoking and tobacco use; improved knowledge of how to help patients change unhealthy behaviors; and develop or enhance skills for dealing with dependent/addicted patients.
1) An ATTAC Orientation is conducted to provide health professions students with specifics about the program. Students are given information that allows them to access an extensive online training program consisting of modules that will familiarize them with tobacco issues, motivational intervention methods and cessation techniques. Each module can be completed in under an hour and includes a pre-test, post-test and satisfaction survey. More information about the components of the online course and additional ATTAC materials will be provided during the orientation.
AFTERNOON OF LEARNING
2) Health professions students from a variety of disciplines gather (on campus) for an “Afternoon of Learning” (AOL). This event provides students with presentations on tobacco issues, the importance of intervening with tobacco users, and the need to deter youth from initiating use. Students will learn much more about tobacco intervention techniques and will use this information along with the knowledge gained from the online modules as they practice these techniques with one another in interdisciplinary groups.