tobacco treatment training

Training program at UK is helping others kick their tobacco habit

The UK College of Nursing’s BREATHE Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) training program recently received accreditation from the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs, making it one of only 18 accredited training programs for tobacco treatment in the world.

The BREATHE TTS training program was developed as a collaborative effort by UK and community partners interested in establishing a network of health professionals who can provide evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment.

Earning accreditation means TTS training programs comply with established education standards. Those who complete an accredited program demonstrate a high level of proficiency in tobacco dependence treatment and will be eligible to obtain a certification as a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist.

“We are so pleased to receive accreditation and provide greater access to tobacco treatment training through this all-online format,” said Audrey Darville, PhD, APRN, BREATHE TTS program director and associate professor in the UK College of Nursing. “Our goal is to increase the number of tobacco dependence treatment providers in Kentucky and beyond.”

The BREATHE TTS course, the first offered completely online, teaches guidelines developed by the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence. The course includes 27 hours of self-paced training, assignments and evaluation. After finishing the course, participants earn a training certificate, the first step in obtaining TTS certification.

Kentucky has one of the highest adult smoking rates in the nation and an urgent need to increase the number of trained health professionals in tobacco treatment. The program was launched in February 2017 and has provided training to 22 professionals, which triples the number of trained TTS individuals in Kentucky. Participants are from a variety of healthcare disciplines and work in inpatient, outpatient, community and public health settings.

“The knowledge I gained from the BREATHE TTS program has enabled me to offer so much more support and guidance to my patients on a daily basis,” said Teresa Cumpton, a TTS training participant and a pulmonary educator at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Ashland, Ky.

UK Markey Cancer Center affiliate sites also are engaged in training tobacco treatment specialists, said Dr. Timothy Mullett, medical director of the Markey Affiliate Network.

“They are passionate about cancer control, and having this accredited tobacco treatment specialist training program at UK is an important milestone for Markey Cancer Center and UK HealthCare,” he said.


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