Engaging nurses in smoking cessation: Challenges and opportunities in Turkey

Mimi Nichter, Aslı Çarkoğlu, Mark Nichter, Şeyda Özcan, M. Atilla Uysal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper discusses the training of nurses in smoking cessation as part of routine patient care in Turkey. Formative research was carried out prior to training to identify challenges faced by smokers when trying to quit. Site visits to government hospitals and cessation clinics were conducted to observe health care provider-patient interactions involving behavior change. Four culturally sensitive cessation training workshops for nurses (n = 54) were conducted in Istanbul. Following training, nurses were debriefed on their experiences delivering cessation advice. Challenges to cessation counseling included lack of time and incentives for nurse involvement; lack of skills to deliver information about the harm of smoking and benefits of quitting; the medicalization of cessation through the use of pharmaceuticals; and hospital policy which devalues time spent on cessation activities. The pay-for-performance model currently adopted in hospitals has de-incentivized doctor participation in cessation clinics. Nurses play an important role in smoking cessation in many countries. In Turkey, hospital policy will require change so that cessation counseling can become a routine part of nursing practice, incentives for providing cessation are put in place, and task sharing between nurses and doctors is clarified. Nurses and doctors need to receive training in both the systemic harms of smoking and cessation counseling skills. Opportunities, challenges and lessons learned are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-197
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Cessation implementation
  • Nurses
  • Smoking cessation
  • Smoking cessation policy
  • Turkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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