The Tobacco Treatment Specialist certificate program trains healthcare practitioners as Tobacco Treatment Specialists (TTS). A TTS possesses the skills, knowledge and training to provide effective, evidence-based interventions for tobacco dependence in a variety of settings, including hospitals, community health centers, educational settings, social services, tobacco treatment centers, telemedicine, mental health centers and more. The TTS not only in provides treatment but educates patients and other professionals on tobacco dependence treatments. 
The program is taught through self-paced, online modules focusing on skills needed to effectively treat tobacco dependence and culminates in a one-day live training. Through the expertise of the course coordinators, participants develop and practice skills including motivational interviewing, medication management, and other evidence-based strategies to support effective treatment. 

Activity Type: Certificate Program 
Registration Fees: $625 Healthcare Professional, $525 Duquesne University Alumni and Preceptor 
Target Audience: Pharmacists in all Practice Settings, All Healthcare Professionals 
Delivery Format: 10 hours Self-Study (Web-Based), 7 hours Live (In-Person via Zoom) 
Live (In-Person via Zoom) Activity Dates: April 22, 2024
Contact Hours: 17 

Register Here

Home Study Portion

TTS Course Introduction 
  • Explain the role of Tobacco Treatment Specialists in multiple contexts
  • Describe the professional development responsibilities
  • Compare and contrast the types of credentialing available for Tobacco Treatment Specialists 

Tobacco Dependence, Knowledge, and Education
  • Describe the prevalence and patterns of tobacco use, dependence and cessation in the United States
  • Describe how rates of tobacco use, dependence and cessation vary across demographic, economic, and cultural subgroups
  • Utilize the findings of national reports on tobacco treatment
  • Explain the health consequences of tobacco use and benefits of quitting
  • Describe how tobacco dependence develops and the biological, psychological, and social causes of tobacco dependence
  • Summarize and apply valid and reliable diagnostic criteria for tobacco dependence
  • Describe the chronically relapsing nature of tobacco dependence, including typical relapse patterns and predisposing factors
  • Provide information that is gender, age and culturally sensitive and appropriate to patient learning style and abilities
  • Identify evidence-based treatment strategies, including the pros and cons for each strategy

  • List the pharmacological effects of nicotine
  • Identify the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and how to manage them
  • List nonpharmacological aids for tobacco cessation
  • Discuss pharmacologic treatment options for tobacco cessation
  • Discuss counseling recommendations for the various agents
  • Given a patient case, select the most appropriate therapy to aid in tobacco cessation (including drug name, dose, frequency, and duration of therapy; proper administration, potential adverse effects, and precautions) 

Diversity and Specific Health Populations
  • Demonstrate culturally competent counseling
  • Identify vulnerable populations with tobacco use prevalence rates significantly greater than the general population
  • Describe specific treatment indications for special population groups
  • Demonstrate an ability to respond to high-risk client situations
  • Make effective treatment recommendations for non-cigarette tobacco users
  • Describe recommendations for those exposed to environmental tobacco smoke pollution 

Counseling Skills
  • Explain how the health-belief model, locus of control theory, and transtheoretical model of change relate to patient adherence behavior
  • Utilize the transtheoretical model to identify a patient’s readiness for change
  • Design an intervention based on a patient’s readiness for change and causes of nonadherence
  • Discuss issues that should be considered when educating/counseling adults

Law and Ethics
  • Discuss the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and how it relates to TTS’ responsibilities
  • Identify Protected Health Information (HPI)
  • Recognize types of PHI disclosures

Documentation & Billing
  • Identify appropriate billing codes for tobacco cessation counseling
  • Discuss requirements for billing patients for tobacco cessation counseling
  • Compare and contrast tobacco cessation counseling attempts and sessions
  • Discuss proper documentation and follow-up for tobacco cessation counseling
  • Discuss ways to measure outcomes for tobacco cessation

Relapse Prevention 
  • Describe the differences between slips and relapses
  • Identify risk factors for relapse and incorporate into patient treatment plans
  • Describe strategies and coping skills that can reduce relapse risk
  • Provide guidance in modifying the treatment plan to reduce the risk of relapse throughout the course of treatment with a patient
  • Describe a plan for continued aftercare following initial treatment for a patient
  • Implement treatment strategies for someone who has lapsed or relapsed

Live Portion Agenda

  • Welcome and Introduction
  • Pharmacotherapy Review
  • Break
  • Diversity and Specific Health Issues
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems
  • Break
  • Counseling Skills 
  • Break
  • Treatment Planning

Post Program Agenda
  • Complete instructor evaluations
  • Complete comprehensive program evaluation
  • Complete final-exam and achieve a score of 70% or greater
Jamie L. McConaha, PharmD, CGP, TTS, BCACP
Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice
Duquesne University School of Pharmacy
Pittsburgh, PA

Christine O'Neil, Pharm.D.
Professor of Pharmacy Practice
Duquesne University School of Pharmacy
Pittsburgh, PA

Elizabeth Bunk, Pharm.D.
Director, Center for Pharmacy Care
Duquesne University School of Pharmacy
Pittsburgh, PA
The Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs (CTTTP) accredits the program, which meets all the requirements set forth in the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, as well as the national competencies for Tobacco Treatment Specialists. This program is accredited by the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs (CTTTP).


Michael Kurilla, MEd

Director, Continuing Education and Certificate Programs

Duquesne University School of Pharmacy