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Knowledge UnboundJoe Cepeda

Knowledge Unbound (continued)

Certified Tobacco Fighters

China National Tobacco Corporation, the world’s largest tobacco company, is owned by the Chinese government. So it should come as no surprise that tobacco use is widely accepted in Chinese life. In fact, providing a gift of cigarettes is considered a sign of respect, says Joanna Cohen, PhD, MHSc, director of the Bloomberg School’s Institute for Global Tobacco Control (IGTC).

Though there’s still a long way to go, public health officials and educators in China are beginning to change that culture, with help from “Global Tobacco Control: Learning from the Experts,” an online training program from IGTC. Since its 2007 launch, Learning from the Experts has exported its tools and information to more than 175 countries—offering 40 lectures organized into 11 topic modules and available in six languages: Arabic, French, Chinese, English, Russian and Spanish.

Users can access the materials free of charge, on topics including the tobacco industry and its influence, the health impacts of smoking, and smoking cessation methods. Participants must earn 80 percent or higher on the quiz at the end of each module to receive a certificate of completion.

5,626: Participants enrolled to date in the course “Global Tobacco Control: Learning from the Experts”

Learning from the Experts is useful for reaching low- and middle-income countries, where public health officials might not have the resources to travel or create training materials, says Cohen. In India, for example, state and provincial health educators have adapted the materials to make them locally relevant—particularly targeting the use of inexpensive hand-rolled cigarettes called bidis.

“With tobacco control, when governments or donors decide to fund activity, a lot of the work requires human resources, hiring people,” but there is often a paucity of trained personnel, says Cohen, an associate professor in Health, Behavior and Society. Learning from the Experts, she says, is “very helpful in settings that are ramping up.”

95: Percent of participants surveyed who plan to apply course insights to their work

Comments

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  • Md. Tauheed Ahmad

    India 02/16/2012 10:59:13 PM

    I am working on sensitizing doctors to the tobacco problem in India and I recommend the online course to our participants. Thank you IGTC!

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