Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal (Oct 2014)

Advancing Tobacco Dependence Treatment Services in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: International collaboration for training and capacity-building

  • Feras I. Hawari,
  • Rasha K. Bader

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 14, no. 4
pp. e442 – 447


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Tobacco use negatively affects health and is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Today, tobacco use ranks third among risk factors in North Africa and the Middle East in terms of disease burden. Despite the established need for these services, tobacco dependence treatment (TDT) services are still inadequate in the Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR). Among the main challenges hindering their expansion is the current lack of training opportunities. The provision of training and capacity-building—a key enabler of TDT—offers an excellent catalyst to launch TDT services in the region. This review discusses the need for TDT training in the EMR and describes a model for providing regional evidence-based training in line with international standards. The King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman, Jordan, is the regional host for Global Bridges, a worldwide TDT initiative. Using this model, they have trained 1,500 professionals and advocates from the EMR over the past three years.