Are nurses prepared to curb the tobacco epidemic in China? A questionnaire survey of schools of nursing

Int J Nurs Stud. 2008 May;45(5):706-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2006.12.008. Epub 2007 Mar 2.


Background: Smoking prevalence among Chinese males is the highest in the world and its morbidity and mortality is growing. Previous studies suggested nurses are inadequately prepared to treat tobacco use and dependence.

Objectives: To examine the inclusion and organization of tobacco control content in the undergraduate nursing curriculum of Hong Kong and Mainland China; and the smoking status of faculty and students.

Design: Cross-sectional survey.

Methods: Deans of 32 nursing schools in Hong Kong and China with an undergraduate programme (representing over 12000 students) completed a self-administered questionnaire.

Results: Most schools included the health hazards of tobacco (56.3-100%), but few covered tobacco cessation theory (31.3-62.5%), or behavioural (9.4-56.3%) and pharmacological (3.1-34.4%) interventions in the curriculum. Most curricula covered less than 1h of tobacco content per year of study. Nearly all schools (93.1%) reported smoking among faculty but only half reported access to smoking cessation programmes.

Conclusions: This is the first known study to examine the extent of tobacco control education in the nursing curriculum in China. Results suggested deficiencies in the coverage and clinical practice in smoking and smoking cessation, and recommendations were made to strengthen the curriculum.

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Clinical Competence
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / organization & administration*
  • Faculty, Nursing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Surveys
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Organizational Policy
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Schools, Nursing / organization & administration
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Smoking* / adverse effects
  • Smoking* / epidemiology
  • Students, Nursing / psychology
  • Students, Nursing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires