Health + Behavior

UCLA Nursing Researcher Earns Prestigious Award for Media Campaign Designed to Help Nurses Help Their Patients Stop Smoking

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Linda Sarna, DNSc,RN, FAAN, (Westwood), professor at the UCLA School of Nursing, was presentedwith a 2005 Media Award at the 32nd American Academy of Nurses Annual Meetingfor her leadership of the Tobacco-Free Nurses Initiative promotional mediacampaign. The prestigious awardrecognizes individuals and organizations whose use of the media has increasedpublic awareness of the value of nursing.

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nationalTobacco-Free Nurses Initiative was the first to promote the role of nurses intobacco control, and focused on two key objectives: 1) to support nurses intheir efforts to end tobacco addiction; and 2) to provide tools for all nursesto help their patients quit smoking.

"Although smoking among nurses has declined, at 15 percentit continues to be higher than among other health professionals," said Sarna, who was principal investigator for the researchinitiative. "For example, only 3 percent of physicians smoke. Smoking amongnursing students also continues to be higher than among medical students."

The Tobacco-Free Nurses Initiative offers easy access to anarray of resource materials on its Web site, including a pocket guide developedin partnership with the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. All ofthese tools can be downloaded at no cost to assist health care professionalsworldwide in their cessation efforts.

The Tobacco-Free Nurses Initiative's media campaign waspraised for nationally disseminating nursing research findings using trade andpublic media. Its materials depict specific examples of health-enhancinginteractions, and address health disparity issues in a culturally sensitivemanner.

Sarna shares the award with StellaBialous, RN, MScN, Dr PH,president of Tobacco Policy International; Mary Ellen Wewers,Ph.D., MPH, RN, FAAN, Mildred E. Newton Professor of Nursing at Ohio StateUniversity; and Erika Sivarajan Froelicher,RN, Ph.D., FAAN, University of California, San Francisco, professor of nursing.

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