The University of Arizona's Project Reach Announces Innovative Trainings to Teach Brief Tobacco Intervention Skills

The U of A's Project Reach Announces Innovative Trainings to Teach Brief Tobacco Intervention Skills

The University of Arizona's Project Reach Announces Innovative Trainings to Teach Brief Tobacco Intervention Skills

The University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Department of Family and Community Medicine, is pleased to announce the launch of Project Reach, a National Cancer Institute-funded research project aimed at teaching strategies to help people talk effectively to tobacco users about quitting.
"We are training people to understand the complexities of nicotine addiction, the motivators and barriers to quitting tobacco, and teaching communication skills to talk to tobacco users in a respectful and compassionate manner," says Myra Muramoto, MD, associate professor in the UA Department of Family and Community Medicine and the principal investigator for Project Reach.

Project Reach and its trainings are unique because this is the first time tobacco intervention skills are being taught through both in-person workshops and an interactive Web-based training -- and then being compared for their effectiveness. Both methods of training incorporate the latest scientific evidence about tobacco dependency and communication strategies to help tobacco users quit. The Web-based training uses video simulations and testimonials from smokers and ex-smokers discussing their struggle with tobacco dependency. Individuals who participated in pilot Project Reach trainings reported they gained a better understanding about the difficulties of quitting tobacco and how to more effectively help someone quit. "We hope to learn which training method is better at teaching practical intervention skills," says Dr. Muramoto. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and causes huge suffering among individuals and their families. Research has shown that more than 70 percent of tobacco users want to quit. Dr. Muramoto explains, "The more people we can train to help tobacco users quit, the more likely tobacco users will be successful at quitting, and the more lives will be saved."

Project Reach anticipates training approximately 1,100 participants throughout Pima and Maricopa Counties over the next six months.

Project Reach currently is seeking individuals to participate in this research project. Trainings are scheduled to begin in September 2004. For more information, call or e-mail Eva Matthews, (520) 626-1087, evam@email.arizona.edu or call Project Reach at (520) 626-1900. Eligible participants will be compensated for their time.