Tobacco-related instruction in undergraduate nursing education in Illinois

J Nurs Educ. 1998 Dec;37(9):415-7. doi: 10.3928/0148-4834-19981201-11.


Tobacco use is responsible for more deaths in the United States than any other factor. Nurses are in a unique position to convey life-saving messages to clients regarding tobacco use. To gauge the type and extent of tobacco-related background knowledge acquired by nurses in the course of their education, the Nurses' Committee of the Illinois Division of the American Cancer Society (ACS) surveyed 70 nursing programs in the state of Illinois. The number of lecture hours spent on tobacco-related issues was greater in LPN programs than in either associate or baccalaureate degree programs, and instruction was scattered throughout the curriculum of each program. Most schools reported heavy reliance on adult medical-surgical textbooks to convey tobacco-related content. The most recent editions of the textbooks used by the schools were reviewed, and they also were found to adopt a scattered approach, with a disappointing lack of depth regarding the hazards of tobacco. It is recommended a single course be identified as responsible for relaying tobacco-related content and information supplied by general medical-surgical textbooks be supplemented by materials drawn from other sources.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Nursing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Illinois
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Textbooks as Topic*