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Elements of the Tobacco Treatment Education Program

Becoming a Tobacco Treatment Specialist is a valuable commitment to your professional growth. There are four elements to our program.

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Element One: Online Pre-Work

Brief (10 question) baseline assessment of knowledge

Basic Skills for Working with Smokers

Element Two: In-Person Core Training

Core Training is an intensive 3 ½ day, evidence-based training program designed for persons who deliver moderate to intensive tobacco treatment services within a health care or community setting.

Module 1: Determinants of Tobacco Use Disorder

  • Review the definition of tobacco dependence and addiction and the “biopsychosocial” model 
  • Outline the biological, psychological and social factors associated with tobacco dependence and its continued use
  • Describe the characteristics of nicotine that contribute to tobacco dependence

Module 2: Guidelines for Systems and Professionals

  • List the Public Health Service recommendations for optimal structure and intensity of effective tobacco treatment interventions
  • Describe the range of established and innovative treatment modalities
  • Discuss systems and program implementation
  • Define the role of TTS: professional development, resources and responsibilities

Module 3: Motivational Interviewing: Learning the Basics

  • Spirit and principles of motivational interviewing
  • Basic skills of motivational interviewing
  • How to utilize reflective listening skills
  • Categories of change talk
  • Negotiating an action plan

Module 4: Pharmacotherapy for the Treatment of Tobacco Use Disorder

  • Describe and apply evidence-based medicine principles to pharmacological treatment for nicotine dependence
  • Understand the anticipated effects of the different forms of pharmacologic treatment in select medical conditions
  • List additional special concerns and issues that affect the choice of pharmacologic treatment

Module 5: Cognitive and Behavioral Treatment Strategies

  • Describe the differences between cognitive and behavioral strategies
  • Discuss treatment considerations for priority populations
  • List specific cognitive and behavioral strategies for the pre-cessation, cessation, and relapse prevention phases of treatment
  • Describe processes to promote relapse recovery

Module 6: Intake, Assessment and Treatment Planning

  • Assess a tobacco user from a bio/psycho/social model
  • Identify strengths and potential barriers
  • Conduct interviews in a manner which advances stage of change and promotes self-efficacy
  • Develop a tailored treatment plan based on the assessment

Element Three: Assessment

Brief (10 question) post assessment of knowledge

Online examination administered by UMASS

Please note: You will have 6 weeks from the final day of your class to complete the two part, closed-book exam. Part 1 consists of about 60 multiple choice questions, and Part 2 is short answer responses and a case study.

  • The exam will be timed; you will have 1½ hours for Part 1 and one hour for Part 2.
  • A passing grade is 75% or above. The exam can be retaken after 3 months if needed.
  • If you close the exam before completion or run out of time it can NOT be re-opened, and you will be graded on what you have completed.
  • Please schedule enough time so that you can take the exam without distractions.

We have found that the time allotted is more than enough time for participants to successfully finish the exam. If for some reason you require additional time to complete the exam, please contact before you begin the exam to inquire about special arrangements to accommodate any limitations.

Element Four: Support After the Training

  • 6-months of membership to ATTUD at no cost
    • Access to publications
    • Listserv
  • Ongoing technical assistance
  • Networking opportunities with other TTSs
Last modified: Sep 16, 2019
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