I would like to suggest three ways that oncology healthcare professionals can make a difference: help patients quit tobacco use, take an increased presence in tobacco control efforts, and embrace tobacco-free environments.
Dr. Linda Sarna, professor and Lulu Wolf Hassenplug Endowed Chair at the UCLA School of Nursing, is recognized for her scholarship that promotes nursing involvement in tobacco control and oncology nursing research focused on quality of life for patients with lung cancer. In collaboration with Dr. Stella Bialous, Dr. Sarna has led efforts to increase nursing interventions that help smokers quit by using Web-based resources, in the United States, China, and Eastern Europe. Drs. Sarna and Bialous initiated Tobacco Free Nurses (www.tobaccofreenurses.org) over a decade ago to help nurses quit smoking and to increase nursing education, research, and leadership in tobacco control. Dr. Sarna has collaborated with national and international nursing organizations on policies related to tobacco control, such as quality indicators for tobacco dependence treatment with the Joint Commission, and a research agenda regarding tobacco and cancer with the National Cancer Institute. She has monitored smoking among nurses in the United States using data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Current Population Survey, 2003 to 2010/2011. She co-edited a monograph for the World Health Organization on the role that nurses can play in reducing noncommunicable diseases. Dr. Sarna is the chair of the UCLA Tobacco-Free Policy Steering Committee.