This module provides an overview of tobacco cessation approaches, and how scientific evidence is applied to support everyday clinical decision-making. Users of this module will learn about the epidemiology of tobacco and nicotine-based products, the underlying neuroscience of nicotine addiction, and assess pharmacologic and behavioral approaches to enable patients to quit their use of them. The course describes clinical strategies, best practices, and community resources that health care practitioners can use to ensure the best results of cessation therapy for their patients.

Target Audience

This activity is intended for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this module, the learner should be able to:

  • Describe the evolution of the tobacco product landscape
  • Discuss the fundamentals of tobacco health effects, and nicotine addition
  • Understand the combined behavioral and pharmacology treatment best practices
  • Describe the newer strategies with cessation medications and behavioral treatments
  • Discuss brief motivational approaches for client engagement and referral
  • Summarize key conclusions of the 2020 Surgeon General’s report on smoking cessation
  • Identify gaps in the treatment literature

Additional Information

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Science
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Course opens: 
Course expires: 


Professor of Medicine with the Stanford Prevention Research Center

Member of the Stanford Cancer Institute


Judith (Jodi) Prochaska, PhD, MPH is a Professor with the Stanford Prevention Research Center in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University and a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute. Her research program is leveraging technology (e.g., web, text, social media) to bring tobacco cessation treatment into novel settings and to populations with high smoking prevalence. Dr. Prochaska is a fellow and past president of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT). She has published >200 peer-reviewed articles and serves on the Editorial Boards of JAMA Internal Medicine and Health Psychology.


Clinical Assistant Professor


Dr. Estela Lajthia is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Howard University College of Pharmacy (HUCOP) since 2017. She receive her Doctorate of Pharmacy Degree from Shenandoah University – Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy and completed a 2-year combined PGY-1/PGY-2 in Ambulatory Care with a focus in Academia at Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) School of Pharmacy after graduation. During her residency training at VCU Dr. Lajthia practiced at a local safety net clinic, Crossover HealthCare Ministries, which is a patient-centered medical home (PCMH). She led pharmacist-driven clinics and precepted pharmacy students while providing a multitude of clinical services to the diverse patient populatioin. Some of these services included diabetes management, anticoagulation therapy management, smoking cessation, medication reconciliation services, hypertension and hyperlipidemia management. 

Since joining Howard University in 2017, she has served as the clinical pharmacist at the Diabetes Treatment Center (DTC), which is an outpatient endocrine clinic at Howard University Hospital. Dr. Lajthia is the only pharmacist among the interprofessional DTC team that consists of endocrinologists, nutritionist, medical fellows, diabetes educators and nurses. She provides comprehensive medication therapy management and education for patients with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, hyperlipidemia, kidney disease, nicotine dependence, thyroid disorders etc. Furthermore, Dr. Lajthia has extensive teaching experience as a lecturer and coordinator. For the last three years she has coordinated, prepared and taught the respiratory pharmacotherapy module in the pharmacy curriculum at HUCOP. Dr. Lajthia’s areas of interest include innovative technology in diabetes management, interprofessional education, and chronic disease management. 


Associate Professor, Howard University College of Medicine


Dr. Carla Williams received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Howard University. She is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health and Interim Director of the Howard University Cancer Center.   Her work centers around understanding and reducing cancer-related health disparities.  Her research activities emphasize engaging communities that have not been adequately represented in research.  Dr. Williams works with community health leaders to promote individual adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors as well as population-level change in the environment, health policies, and health systems.  

Since 2010, Dr. Williams’ collaborative research efforts have resulted in the expansion of her role to function as an Executive Scientist.  In this capacity, she helps to build research teams within and across institutions to promote collaborative research.  She has led the development of a regional symposia to equip scientists and community health advocates with the skills to maximize the impact of collaborative research.   

In her teaching roles, Dr. Williams has developed new training paradigms to enhance students understanding and utilization of evidence-based practice.   She has also incorporated the use of reflective exercises to promote learning synthesis and integration.  Most recently, she has worked to develop a combined didactic and practice-based course that builds skills for community engagement as a key discipline in public health, health care research, and health policy.  


Program Director, Tobacco Control Research Branch Behavioral Research Program


Dr. Vollinger serves as Program Director in the Tobacco Control Research Branch (TCRB) within the Behavioral Research Program (BRP) of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He manages a grants portfolio in State and Community Tobacco Control Policy and Media Research in TCRB. Dr. Vollinger previously managed the Tobacco Research Initiative for State and Community Interventions, which was the largest tobacco control research initiative at NCI and supported research on innovative tobacco prevention and control interventions at the community, State, and National level. The results have guided tobacco control programs across the Nation to increase program effectiveness and produce real reductions in the prevalence of tobacco use.

Additionally, he was co-Senior Scientific Editor of NCI Tobacco Control Monograph No. 16, ASSIST: Shaping the Future of Tobacco Prevention and Control. Previously Bob served as a Project Officer with the American Stop Smoking Intervention Study for Cancer Prevention (ASSIST) and managed numerous large contracts with State Health Departments, working closely with the American Cancer Society and other voluntary health organizations. He has provided technical assistance and training to State and local public health agencies, and major voluntary organizations regarding comprehensive tobacco prevention and control. He has worked on tobacco control research, policy, and media issues at NCI since 1996. 



The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


The George Washington University Hospital, Department of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

ACPE#: 0536-9999-20-007-H04-P

ACPE#: 0536-9999-20-007-H04-T

Release Date: September 15, 2020

Expiration Date: September 15, 2023

CE Credits: 2 (0.2 CEUs)


Available Credit

  • 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
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