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This course is offered fully online.

Tobacco, Alcohol and Illicit Drugs is a wide ranging course that takes a public heath approach to understanding this important and complex issue. The first section of the course focusses on tobacco. The worldwide toll of death and disability related to tobacco use is enormous. We examine programs in countries that have made efforts to limit availability of tobacco and reduce its use, and the effectiveness of those efforts. Issues of tobacco control are examined: what does it involve; how best can it be achieved; and how can it be evaluated. Students will develop an understanding of the patterns of tobacco use and health effects of smoking, and nicotine dependence. The second section of the course focusses on Alcohol and Illicit drugs and has relevance for population health related to drug use, health management of people who are drug users and abusers, drug policy, and raises important controversial issues. Use of alcohol and other drugs is a major issue in determining the health of individuals and populations in developed and developing countries. Students will explore the size of the drug problem; model of dependence; harm reduction; and relapse prevention and will gain a greater understanding of the patterns and health effects of drug use and issues of drug dependence. The range of public health approaches available to reduce use of both tobacco, and alcohol and illicit drugs, including the range of harm reduction strategies, will be examined. Students will develop skills of brief interventions to use with patients and gain an understanding of the issues associated with relapse. This course provides students with important knowledge and skills that will enable them to plan and evaluate effective tobacco control measures and alcohol and drug services. This course is useful for doctors, nurses and other health practitioners, public health specialists, policy-makers and others in the public and private sectors of developed and developing countries.

Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1



Delivery Mode

Fully online

Indicative contact hours


Conditions for Enrolment

Prerequisite: Students who are not enrolled in a postgraduate program in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine will need to provide approval from their program authority and the approval of the course convenor to

Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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