International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC)

The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) will engage nurses in promoting and supporting tobacco cessation by establishing the Eastern Europe Nurses’ Centre of Excellence for Tobacco Control as a regional leader based in the Czech Republic and providing training to nurses in five countries: Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Republic of Moldova. A key focus of the continued funding will be to identify and support nurses to take on leadership roles in advancing tobacco control in the region to ultimately benefit patients and their families. 


Despite overwhelming scientific evidence linking smoking and cancer, smoking remains a common practice in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Smoking-attributed cancer rates are significantly higher in CEE and smoking accounts for one-fifth of all cancer-related deaths. Smoking is still perceived as socially acceptable in the region, and often health professionals do not see the need to address this significant health risk with patients. Nurses currently represent the largest health care professional group in the region and are uniquely positioned to implement of tobacco cessation efforts. 


The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) will receive $350,000 over two years to further develop the Eastern European Nurses’ Center of Excellence for Tobacco Control. The project’s overall goals are to increase nurses’ knowledge and leadership capacity in tobacco dependence treatment, contribute to cancer prevention efforts, and create opportunities to influence nursing education and practice standards through advocacy in Central and Eastern Europe. The Center is based in Prague, Czech Republic, and provides training and outreach for nurses in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Republic of Moldova.  The project will build on ISNCC’s two prior tobacco cessation programs in the Czech Republic and the CEE region, which were funded by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation’s Bridging Cancer Care initiative. By leveraging the strategies and relationships developed during the initial funding phases the Center will continue to increase nurse’s capacity to address tobacco dependence and administer appropriate treatment and education.

To ensure long-term sustainability the project will engage partners in the development of mandatory documentation of patients smoking history, participate in the European-wide ‘Smoke-free hospitals’ program, provide guidance on development of nursing curricula, and focus on building collaborative partnerships with other organizations active in tobacco control in the region. 

Project Leaders

Stella Bialous, and Linda Sarna,


The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care