Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

WHO and European Respiratory Society form a new collaboration to support tobacco cessation training

The World Health Organization (WHO) and European Respiratory Society (ERS) have recently initiated a new joint project on tobacco cessation training. Under this successive 3-year project (2016-2019), ERS will provide financial and technical resources to support WHO’s training activities for building capacity of WHO Member States to provide tobacco cessation interventions to all patients with respiratory diseases in primary care settings. In year 1, Greece, the Republic of Moldova and Bangladesh were selected as three priority countries to implement the project due to their high smoking prevalence and low access to tobacco cessation support in their health systems.

The purpose of this joint project in year 1 is to:

  • Assist the priority countries in creating a national training network and to build its capacity to train primary care providers to routinely provide brief tobacco interventions to all patients with respiratory diseases.
  • Develop an online training course on brief tobacco interventions for primary care providers based on WHO developed training package.

WHO and ERS have jointly conducted three train-the-trainer workshops on brief tobacco interventions in Bangladesh, Greece and the Republic of Moldova between November 2016 and January 2017. The three workshops proved to be very successful with strong support from national authorities and three levels of WHO. All workshop participants rated the workshops as very useful to them. As a result of the workshops, about 30 certified trainers are ready to roll out the training on brief tobacco interventions for primary care providers in each of these three countries. Each country will train 90-120 primary care providers by end of January 2017.


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WHO and ERS will soon make available the online training course on brief tobacco interventions to further expand the tobacco cessation training activities to improve access to tobacco cessation support in primary care. This will form the basis for a sustainable and comprehensive national tobacco cessation and treatment system at country level, as recommended by the guidelines for implementation of Article 14 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.