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Keywords

cessation, nursing, tobacco industry

 

Authors

  1. Malone, Ruth E.

Abstract

There is little evidence that nursing organizations have played a major leadership role in addressing tobacco control at the political level, and none have addressed collectively, in any sustained way, the role of the tobacco industry, the primary vector of the tobacco disease epidemic. The aims of this article are (a) to explore what accounts for organized nursing's relative quiescence about tobacco industry and (b) to elucidate why a nursing voice would be especially effective in addressing the industry as a vector of the tobacco disease epidemic. Drawing on the internal tobacco industry documents research, and incorporating a critical theoretical perspective on education, research, and practice, it is argued that tobacco cessation cannot be viewed solely as an individual problem but must be understood in a sociopolitical context and promoting a nursing agendum on cessation research and practice requires educating (and energizing) nurses on the sociopolitics of tobacco. Because of nurses' numbers, class status, political capital, and moral authority in society, they are the group of health professionals whose voices are needed urgently at this historical moment to help avert the global tobacco epidemic. The Nightingales is an example of a nursing group involved in activism against the tobacco industry, applying findings from research on the industry to engage nurses in tobacco control activism, research, and education. The cessation research agenda should include research on the tobacco industry and how its activities influence cessation, how political activism influences cessation, and how critical education may advance cessation research, policies, and practices.