Survey shows a slow start for smoking cessation training

A study of smoking cessation training courses reveals gaps but provides a
useful starting point for national standards

Smoking cessation training courses generally lack accreditation, have often
been running for less than a year and offer trainees relatively little
follow-up, according to a survey by the Government’s Health Development Agency.

The study of smoking cessation training, the first of its kind in England,
was designed to look at what training is being provided two years on from the
launch of the Government’s national smoking cessation service.

Smoking cessation services were launched within health action zones in 1999
and were meant to have been provided in all health authorities from April last

Their launch means people wanting to give up smoking can make use of an
extended range of services, including a national telephone helpline, nicotine
replacement therapy and smoking cessation aids on prescription.

The HDA study found there were relatively few general training providers for
such services and health authorities relied heavily on in-house training.

Other findings included the fact that only one provider had been through any
sort of formal accreditation procedure, as such procedures were generally not
established yet.

Many courses had only been in operation for a year or less, and so far,
there had been relatively little follow-up of trainees.

The survey, which brought together details of trainers and courses, could
act as a useful starting point for the development of national standards for
smoking cessation training, said the HDA.

HDA public health adviser Lesley Owen said, "This survey helps to map
out what smoking cessation training is available to health professionals across
England, although inclusion doesn’t mean that the courses are endorsed by the

In July, the Government published figures showing that more than 61,000
smokers gave up the habit in the past year after receiving help from smoking
cessation services.

Smoking in pubs will be banned

The restaurant and pub trade will
sooner or later be forced to ban smoking in their establishments to protect
staff, delegates to a British Lung Foundation conference on cigarette smoking
heard in September.

In the summer the Government, following pressure from pubs and
restaurants, rejected advice from the Health and Safety Commission for a code
to force employers either to ban smoking or take stringent measures to protect
staff from others’ smoke.

But Dr Ken Anderson, chairman of the British Lung Foundation in
Scotland, said delegates had agreed restaurants, pubs and hotels would
eventually have to bow to the inevitable.

"They will have to recognise that the health of their
employees is of paramount importance," he said.

Other issues discussed at the conference included anti-smoking
strategies, cessation guidelines, smoking and lung disease and pulmonary

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