Tobacco Free! Curriculum© was developed by Joan M. Davis, Ph.D, RDH, MS, professor and director of research for special projects and initiatives at A.T. Still University’s Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health, in fulfillment of the Tobacco-Cessation Curriculum-Development Fellowship awarded by the ADHA Institute for Oral Health and GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. in 2003. Indirect support was also provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the American Cancer Society, Illinois Division.


This curriculum was developed after a two-year journey of research and discovery that took me to review a very successful healthcare provider’s training program in Arizona, on an informative trip to Indianapolis, and through numerous calls and emails to researchers and clinicians who have decades of experience in tobacco control. The journey has continued these past three years with the collection of hundreds more articles and presentations and the process of soaking in the wisdom and experience of many who have been in this a lot longer than I. The collective five years of information and providing cessation services in private practice is culminated in this latest edition of the curriculum.

Every professional with whom I have communicated concerning this project has not only been willing to share their expertise but has also shared with me samples of their clinic or training materials. This gave me the opportunity to review many excellent programs and begin the process of developing a tobacco-control curriculum that incorporated concepts from a broad range of clinical and classroom settings from across the nation. I deeply appreciate the support and encouragement I received as I developed this project, and I would like to thank and acknowledge the following professionals for their kind assistance:

  • Gerry Barker, RDH, MA
    Professor, Department of Public Health and Behavioral Science, School of Dentistry, University of Missouri  — Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Dr. Arden G. Christen
    Professor and acting chair, Department of Oral Biology; co-director, Indiana University Nicotine Program, School of Dentistry, Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Dr. William Crawford
    Professor emeritus, University of Southern California School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, California
  • Dr. Karen Crews
    Professor of diagnostic sciences, School of Dentistry, ACT-A Comprehensive Tobacco-Control Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Shirley C. Gelskey, MPH, PhD
    Professor and head, Dental Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences Faculty of Dentistry, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Jennifer Klein, RDH, MS
    Associate professor of dental hygiene, Indiana University at South Bend, Indiana
  • Dr. Anne Koerber
    Assistant professor, College of Dentistry, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Dr. Robert Mecklenburg
    Coordinator, tobacco and oral health initiatives, tobacco research branch, National Cancer Institute, Potomac, Maryland
  • Dr. Herbert Severson
    Senior research scientist, Oregon Research Institute in Eugene, Oregon
  • Dr. Eric Stafne
    Director of the School of Dentistry Tobacco-Cessation Program, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Louise Strayer, RN, MS
    Academic professional clinical research associate, Health Science Center, University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona
  • Dental Hygiene Faculty and Students
    Southern Illinois University — Carbondale in Carbondale, Illinois

Technical assistance

  • Sharon Honey, MS
    Webmaster, health care professions, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL


  • Davis JM, Stockdale MS, Cropper M. “The Need for Tobacco Education: Studies of Collegiate Dental Hygiene Patients and Faculty”, Journal of Dental Education: 2005;Vol.69(12); 1340-1352.

Professional presentations

  • American Dental Education Association Third International Women’s Leadership Conference. Moving Tobacco Control Education to Competency – A Global Cessation Strategy, Montreal, Canada, August 2005
  • National Conference on Tobacco or Health. Tobacco Free!: an Innovative Collegiate Tobacco-Control Curriculum, May 2005
  • Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco International Conference Poster Presentation. Needs Assessment for Cessation Education/Training for Collegiate Dental-Hygiene Students, Prague, Czech Republic, March 2005
  • ADEA 81st Annual Session: Tobacco Free!, Helping our Patients be Tobacco Free Workshop, March 2004

Tobacco Free! Curriculum© link is posted at the following web sites:

Curriculum highlighted

  • Center for Tobacco Cessation e-Newsletter, November 2004, Volume 2, Issue 19
  • Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Newsletter (online), Volume 10, Number 4 (November/December 2004)
  • American Dental Education (ADEA) Bulletin, Volume 38 (May 2005.)
  • As of May 2006, more than half of the dental hygiene schools in the US have registered to use the online version of the curriculum

Professional review

  • Michael C. Fiore, MD, MPH
    Professor of medicine and director for tobacco research and intervention, University of Wisconsin Medical School, December 2004
  • Susan Holland, PhD
    Assistant professor, health care professions, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois

Formal evaluation

  • Tobacco Free! Curriculum© was the basis of a three-year, $250,000 research project funded by the American Cancer Association, Illinois Division, 2003 to 2006. This project was designed to evaluate the curriculum in twelve associate degree dental hygiene programs located in Illinois, USA.

International expansion

  • As of January 2006, dental and dental hygiene educators from Italy, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, England, Germany, and Canada have registered to use the online version of the curriculum.

Other publications by J.M. Davis

  • Davis JM. (2005) “Tobacco Cessation for the Dental Team: A Practical Guide, Part1: Background & Overview”, Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, Vol.6(3): 158-166. Online journal accessed at
  • Davis JM. (2005) “Tobacco Cessation for the Dental Team: A Practical Guide Part 2: Evidenced-Based Interventions”, Journal of Contemporary Dental
  • PracticeVol.6(4): 178-186. Online journal accessed at

Project developer

Joan M. Davis, PhD, RDH, MS
Professor and director of research
Special projects and initiatives
A.T. Still University’s Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health