A new study led by UCLA points to a new web-based tool to help nurses help patients kick the habit in China.

Researchers say China has a huge smoking problem, and around 1 million people in China die of smoking-related illnesses each year.

Smoking is accepted in the Chinese culture, in fat, even 23% of physicians smoke, according to the study.

However, the smoking rate among the largely female nurse population is low.

Researchers asked the question, “Could nurses be the solution to get Chinese smokers to quit?”

More than 2,000 nurses in china were surveyed in the study.  90% of nurses said they believed they could believe they could play a critical role in tobacco control.  The team of researchers then developed the first long-distance, web-based learning program in China that focused on smoking cessation.

The nurses who viewed the learning program said they were more likely to help with a cessation plan, and would recommend a smoke-free environment.  The majority of nurses also felt they should be non-smoking role models to help patients quit smoking.

Researchers say being smoke-free puts nurses in a stronger position to engage in cessation interventions with patients rather than their physician colleagues who are more likely to smoke.

The experts on the study are encouraged that with the right intervention education, nurses will be positioned to play a significant role in reducing smoking rates in China.

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