Starting the first tobacco control for and by nurses in Moldova - lessons learnt
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Nursing Association of Moldova, Republic of Moldova
Publication date: 2019-03-26
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2019;5(Supplement):A20
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According to World Health Organization data, smoking is a major global cause of preventable population mortality, which is one of the main challenges for public health and demographic security. Smoking is a problem of modern society and annually produces more victims than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse, traffic accidents, crimes, suicide attempts, and is one of the first causes of preventable deaths.
For the past few years, because of increase of smoking, overall mortality in Republic of Moldova is two times higher than in European countries. Non-communicable diseases, having smoking as one of the risk factors, is the cause of about 87% of overall mortality. Cancer, for example, accounts for about 11% of overall mortality, and cardiovascular diseases - about 60%.
A special role in the tobacco cessation have nurses, which make up the largest number in the health system, and are the most frequent professionals that face patients, provide 24/24 services in medical institutions, and are important people who contribute to reducing the number of smokers. As nurses, our aim is to do what we can to improve the health of the patient in front of us, in the time that we have together. We do our best to address the most urgent issues, and tobacco cessation is one of them.
The Nursing Association of Moldova was included in the project Eastern Europe Nurses’ Centre of Excellence for Tobacco Control – Developing Nurse Champions for Tobacco Dependence Treatment (EE-COE II) in 2017 in achieving the objectives proposed in its activities.
During this time were trained a large number of nurses in the Republic of Moldova as trainers leaders in tobacco cessation. In turn, these trainers trained other nurses about the risk of smoking and its interventions. They organized activities in schools, military units, hospitals and in public places. Thanks to their activities, they managed to improve the understanding of the population about smoking by distributing informative materials and the Guidelines for tobacco cessation. The implementation of the in-person workshop program has modified and improved the practice of health care providers in tobacco cessation.
The issue of tobacco use is becoming an important public health problem. Tobacco research is an attraction for researchers, the field that still has many unknown data involving a complex multidisciplinary approach. Currently, smoking in public places is prohibited by law in Republic of Moldova.
In conclusion, health professionals have a prominent role to play in tobacco control. They have the trust of the population, the media and opinion leaders, and their voices are heard across a vast range of social, economic and political arenas. At the individual level, they can educate the population on the harms of tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke. They can also help tobacco users overcome their addiction. At the community level, health professionals can be initiators or supporters of some of the policy measures, by engaging, for example, in efforts to promote smoke-free workplaces and extending the availability of tobacco cessation resources. At the society level, health professionals can add their voice to national and global tobacco control efforts like tax increase campaigns and become involved at the national level in promoting the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. In addition, health professional organizations can show leadership and become a role model for other professional organizations and society.
The Eastern Europe Nurses’ Centre of Excellence for Tobacco Control II project was made possible through a grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation to the Society for Treatment of Tobacco Dependence.
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