Introduction: There are limited existing data describing the training methods used to educate tobacco cessation treatment providers around the world.
Aims: To measure the prevalence of tobacco cessation treatment content, skills training, and teaching methods reported by tobacco treatment training programmes around the world.
Methods: Web-based survey in May–September 2013 amongst tobacco cessation training experts across six geographic regions and four World Bank income levels. In total, 104 individual training programmes responded.
Results: Of 104 individual programmes, most reported teaching brief advice (78%) and one-to-one counselling (74%); telephone counselling was uncommon (33%). Overall, teaching of knowledge topics was more commonly reported than skills training. Programmes in lower income countries less often reported teaching about medications, behavioural treatments and biomarkers and less often reported skills-based training about interviewing clients, medication management, biomarker measurement, assessing client outcomes, and assisting clients with co-morbidities. Programmes reported a median 15 hours of training. Face-to-face training was common (85%); online programmes were rare (19%). Almost half (47%) included no learner assessment. Most (65%) offered no continuing education.
Conclusions: Nearly all programmes reported teaching evidence-based treatment modalities in a face-to-face format. Few programmes delivered training online or offered continuing education. Skills-based training was less common amongst low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). There is an unmet need for tobacco treatment training protocols which emphasise practical skills and which are more rapidly scalable than face-to-face training in LMICs.