Objective: To identify medical schools who had received, and were using, the tobacco curriculum called the Smokescreen Education Programme (SEP) and to determine the factors related to its introduction into medical schools.
Design: This was a worldwide survey of university-based medical schools who had previously requested copies of the SEP. A questionnaire asking about receipt and use of the SEP (Q1) was mailed to 129 medical schools (response rate 71%). Respondents to Q1 who had received the SEP and agreed to complete a further questionnaire were sent Questionnaire 2 (Q2).
Results: Seventy-four per cent of medical schools who had received the SEP stated that they were using it. Over three quarters of medical schools that responded to Q2 had addressed the teaching of tobacco and related diseases and were using the SEP. The majority reported that the SEP had greater benefits over current methods of teaching about tobacco.
Conclusions: Progress has been made in addressing the teaching of tobacco and related diseases in a self-selected number of medical schools worldwide. The SEP is a curriculum that appears to have utility across countries and cultures, providing the flexibility to incorporate pertinent information.