On May 31, World No Tobacco Day 2017, the American Academy of Nursing announced the designation of Linda Sarna, dean of the UCLA School of Nursing, and her collaborator Stella Aguinaga Bialous, associate professor at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing, as Academy Edge Runners for their model, Tobacco Free Nurses (TFN). The Academy’s "Raise the Voice Edge Runner" initiative recognizes nurse-designed models of care that impact cost, improve quality and influence policy.

Through its website, TFN provides national and international tobacco cessation education to practicing nurse clinicians; tobacco control resources for patient care; smoking cessation support and assistance to nurses and nursing students; and methods to enhance nurse leadership and advocacy in promoting a tobacco-free society. TFN’s pocket guide, "Helping Smoker’s Quit — A Guide for Clinicians," has been one of the most widely requested print documents from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

“Designing and implementing a project which reduces the use of a tobacco, the leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide, is a valuable and noteworthy achievement,” said academy president Bobbie Berkowitz. “Dr. Sarna and Dr. Bialous are commended for designing Tobacco Free Nurses for improving the health of those called to the nursing profession, as well as the patients for whom they care.”

TFN has been recognized by the World Health Organization as an exemplar of health professional advocacy in tobacco control. As of last February, more than 6,000 nurses have formally participated in TFN educational and policy efforts in the United States and in eight other countries.

“As co-principals of TFN, Dr. Aguinaga Bialous and I are thrilled to be designated American Academy of Nursing Edge Runners," Sarnsa said. "We are particularly honored and mindful that this designation fortuitously coincides with World No Tobacco Day.

Every year, on May 31, WHO and partners mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health and additional risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.