UNE Public Health tobacco research published in local medical journal
Faculty and staff from the Graduate Programs in Public Health (GPPH) and Center for Excellence in Public Health (CEPH) recently published their research on youth tobacco prevention in the Journal of Maine Medical Center, an open-access journal devoted to supporting the academic mission through publication of high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarly work.
Titilola Balogun, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., assistant director for Public Health Practice in GPPH, Toho Soma, M.P.H., senior research associate for CEPH, and Liam O’Brien, Ph.D., adjunct faculty in GPPH, investigated the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of Maine health care providers regarding youth tobacco use.
Tobacco use causes preventable morbidity and mortality and leads to high medical costs annually. In Maine, both cigarette and electronic cigarette use among high school students are higher than the national average. Health care providers are trusted sources of health information, but to what extent Maine health care providers are familiar with tobacco use prevention is unknown.
The researchers found that health care providers with at least 10 years of experience felt more able to discuss the harms of using cigarettes and chewing tobacco with their patients but not the harms of using e-cigarettes.
The study shows there are knowledge and practice gaps in tobacco prevention efforts and that training health care providers and implementing tobacco screening practices will improve the quality of health services offered to Maine youth at clinic visits.
This collaborative research between GPPH and CEPH was facilitated by a UNE mini grant to Balogun from the Office of Sponsored Programs.