UK Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training Program Receives Accreditation

Posted: September 11, 2017

The University of Kentucky College of Nursing’s BREATHE Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) training program received accreditation from the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs (CTTTP) on Aug. 16. The program is one of 18 accredited training programs for tobacco treatment internationally.  

The BREATHE TTS training was developed as a collaborative effort by UK and community partners interested in establishing a network of health professionals who can provide evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment. Accreditation of TTS training programs ensures compliance with established education standards. Persons who complete an accredited program demonstrate a high level of proficiency in tobacco dependence treatment and will be eligible to obtain a certification as a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS).  

The BREATHE TTS course, the first offered completely online, teaches core competencies developed by the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD). The course includes 27 hours of self-paced training, assignments and evaluation. After finishing the course, participants earn a training certificate, the first step in obtaining TTS certification. 

“We are so pleased to receive accreditation and provide greater access to tobacco treatment training through this all online format,” said Audrey Darville, BREATHE TTS program director and associate professor in the UK College of Nursing. “Our goal is to increase the number of tobacco dependence treatment providers in Kentucky and beyond.”  

Kentucky has one of the highest adult smoking rates in the nation and an urgent need to increase the number of trained health professionals in tobacco treatment. The BREATHE TTS program is cost effective and accessible to health professionals in an online self-paced format. The initial program was launched in February 2017 and 22 professionals received training, tripling the number of trained TTS individuals in Kentucky. Participants are from a variety of health care disciplines and work in inpatient, outpatient, community and public health settings. 

“The knowledge I gained from the BREATHE TTS program has enabled me to offer so much more support and guidance to my patients on a daily basis,” said TTS training participant Teresa Cumpton, a pulmonary educator at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Ashland, Ky.  

UK’s Markey Cancer Center affiliate sites also are engaged in training tobacco treatment specialists, said Dr. Tim Mullett, thoracic surgeon and professor of surgery at UK. “They are passionate about cancer control and having this accredited tobacco treatment specialist training program at UK is an important milestone for Markey Cancer Center and UK HealthCare." 

Several academic, state and community partners have actively engaged in the development and promotion of the BREATHE TTS training program. These partners include the UK College of Nursing, the Kentucky Cancer Consortium, UK Markey Cancer Center, Gateway Wellness Coalition, Morehead State University, the Kentucky Clinical Trials Network and the Kentucky Department for Public Health. For more information or to enroll, go to: