Innovative e-learning educational resource to improve smoking cessation knowledge among healthcare students


Tobacco use is a significant public health hazard, responsible for nearly 700.000 annual deaths in Europe. Despite these figures, still 28% of European adults are smokers with the consequently risk of maintaining and even increasing the burden of tobacco-related diseases in the old continent. Treating tobacco dependence is both effective and cost-effective and is supported by a solid body of evidence. Healthcare professionals play a vital role in helping smokers quit, with smoking cessation intervention knowledge and skills being a multi-disciplinary preventable content that should be learned by all healthcare professionals during their educational years.  Then, students from healthcare professions are expected to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to contribute to treating tobacco dependence and reducing the burden of tobacco-related diseases.

Nevertheless, tobacco cessation services are still insufficient. One of the reasons is the lack of training in how to support smokers quit received by healthcare professionals during their academic years. Thus, until now, smoking cessation intervention knowledge, skills, and competences have been offered to healthcare professionals as part of their continuous professional development.


We intend to develop, test and disseminate an open resource in smoking cessation available to all healthcare Higher Education Schools across Europe.


The INSTrUCT, a theoretically-guided educational programme, has been designed to teach the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies that all health professionals should learn before working in a clinical setting. The programme will incorporate innovative pedagogies and methods that will support not only learners but also educators. The programme is an open educational resource (OER) composed of:

  • An online course with videos,
  • A virtual simulation area and
  • An implementation guideline for teachers.

As nurses are the largest group in the healthcare workforce, we will first develop, and test INSTrUCT to nursing students from six nursing schools from four European countries (Belgium, the UK, Spain and Portugal). It is expected that 180-240 students will use the OER.

Funding: ERASMUS + (EU funded project) 360.596€

Research team

  • Institut Català d’Oncologia (Coordinator): Cristina Martínez (PI), Esteve Fernández, Assumpta Company, Montse Ballbè, Laura Anton, Ariadna Feliu, Mercè Margalef and Olga Romero
  • Universitat de Barcelona: Montse Puig-Llobet, Maria Teresa Lluch, Carmen Moreno and Raúl Sancho
  • Universitat de Lleida: Jordi Vilaplana, Judith Roca
  • Universidad de Navarra: Miren Idoia Pardavila, Navidad Canga, Hildegart González and María Pueyo
  • King’s College London: Maria Duaso
  • Erasmushogeschool Brussel: Sandra Tricas-Sauras
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles: Sandra Tricas-Sauras
  • Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra: Tereza Barroso and Isabel Marquez