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Tobacco use and cessation counselling: Global Health Professionals Survey Pilot Study, 10 countries, 2005
  1. The GTSS Collaborative Group
  1. Correspondence to:
 Charles W Warren
 PhD, Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, MS-K50, Atlanta GA 30341-3717, USA; wcw1{at}


One of the strategies to reduce the number of smoking-related deaths is to encourage the involvement of health professionals in tobacco-use prevention and cessation counselling. The World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Canadian Public Health Association developed the Global Health Professionals Survey (GHPS) to collect data on tobacco use and cessation counselling among health-profession students in all WHO member states. This report summarises findings from the GHPS Pilot Study, which consisted of 16 surveys conducted in 10 countries among third year students in four health-profession disciplines (dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy) during the first quarter of 2005. The findings indicated that current cigarette smoking among these students was higher than 20% in seven of the 10 countries surveyed. Nevertheless, 87–99% of the students surveyed believed they should have a role in counselling patients to quit smoking; only 5–37% of these third-year students had actually received formal training in how to conduct such counselling. Schools for health professionals, public health organisations, and education officials should work together to design and implement training in smoking cessation counselling for all health-profession students.

  • FCTC, Framework Convention for Tobacco Control
  • GHPS, Global Health Professionals Survey
  • GSPS, Global School Personnel Survey
  • GTSS, Global Tobacco Surveillance System
  • GYTS, Global Youth Tobacco Survey
  • WHO, World Health Organization
  • tobacco
  • health professionals
  • surveillance

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  • Competing interests: none declared

  • This paper was first published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports ( MMWR2005;:–9)