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Tobacco dependence curricula in Middle Eastern and North African medical education
  1. Hoda Jradi1,
  2. Mary Ellen Wewers2,
  3. Phyllis L Pirie2,
  4. Philip F Binkley2,
  5. Amy K Ferketich2
  1. 1College of Public Health and Health Informatics, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  2. 2The Ohio State University; College of Public Health, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hoda Jradi, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. College of Public Health and Health Informatics, National Guard Health Affairs, P.O. Box 22490, Riyadh 11426, Saudi Arabia; jradiho{at}ngha.med.sa

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Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide.1 Nearly 63% of men and 10% of women in Middle Eastern countries use tobacco.2 In North Africa, approximately 19% of all adults smoke tobacco.1 Public health efforts and the involvement of medical and health personnel have decreased smoking rates in most developed countries.3 The WHO MPOWER package of policies and interventions recommended the involvement of physicians and other healthcare professionals in reducing the tobacco burden.4 The package provides a reference model to implement tobacco control strategies that have been shown to reduce tobacco use.4

Several studies have been conducted in Europe and the USA to investigate the proficiency of medical students in treating tobacco dependence.5–10 Findings from two European medical schools indicated that teaching of smoking cessation methods is not a top priority in most medical curricula, and overall knowledge of long-term effectiveness of smoking cessation methods among students was poor.8 In the USA, the results of a project conducted in 12 medical schools to assess and improve medical education showed that 36% of the courses included some tobacco information.7 A recent web-based survey among the 4th year medical students in six New York City medical schools indicated that students …

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