Tobacco Treatment Specialist *In Person* Training and Certification

In Person Training, Rochester, MN

8/20/2024 - 8/22/2024

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The Nicotine Dependence Center Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification Program at Mayo Clinic is nationally accredited by the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs. Completion of this program will allow participants to pursue national certification.

The Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) Certification Program welcomes participants from different backgrounds and ideologies. The program embraces and appreciates the cultural diversity of participants and currently has trained professionals from more than 40 different countries. We shall not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.  

Who Should Take Our Training: Healthcare professionals who have a strong interest in the field of tobacco or health or provide clinical care to people who use tobacco. These include, but not limited to physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, dentists, dental hygienists, dietitians, psychiatrists, psychologists, respiratory therapists, mental health professionals, addiction professionals, counselors, and social workers. The training will prepare professionals to provide their patients/clients with effective evidence-based interventions for tobacco dependence. Professionals that work in the field of health academics, policy, and education will benefit from the up-to-date research/information presented in our training.  

The overarching goal of the program is to assist professionals in becoming competent in the provision of treatment for individuals dependent on tobacco and to formally recognize this competence. Click here for a full description.

HybridTraining: Please see "Course Description" tab for further details regarding our training.

Our program offers external trainings within the U.S., as well as international trainings. For organizations looking to train a sizable group of individuals (up to 36 participants), we do offer virtual and in-person trainings. For further information, please contact us at or 507-266-1093 and we can review the details/cost of bringing our training to you. 

Upon request, accommodation is offered for participants who have special needs.

Course Description

The Mayo Clinic Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification Training is an accredited program that consists of both online learning and a three-day hybrid training focusing on the skills needed to effectively treat tobacco dependence. This course is delivered through a blended learning format in which instruction is completed first online through the Brightspace platform as a self-paced training, followed by a interactive 3-day live, in-person training. This course is adapted for individual learning styles, while allowing for a flexible schedule during the online component. The online module training is available via Brightspace and may be completed at your own pace. Plan to spend approximately ten hours to complete all online modules. The online learning must be completed prior to participating in the live, on-site training. 

During the 3-day training, Mayo Clinic staff will teach the course using virtual technology in a hybrid format. You should expect to spend those days actively engaged in the course. If time is missed it could affect your eligibility to pass the course. Participation is required during the live training and instructors may call on participants for their input.   

Passing an exam and successfully completing both the online and live training components is required for Mayo Clinic Certification, and to be eligible to sit for the National Certification exam. Because many past participants stated how much they value the Mayo Certification, we will continue to offer Mayo certification with our training as well as re-certification.     

Faculty will include Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center physicians, Master's degree counselors, and education staff. A partial list of topics includes: neuropharmacology of nicotine, optimization of pharmacologic management, conducting a basic counseling session, motivational interviewing and other counseling approaches, and application of treatment of tobacco dependence to people with co-morbid conditions.This training program is designed for professionals already providing tobacco dependence treatment and for those with a strong interest in entering the field. Registration is limited in order to facilitate learning and maximize interaction with the experienced faculty.

There is a clear demand for professionals in the field to have recognition of expertise in treating tobacco use and dependence. The Nicotine Dependence Center (NDC) has worked closely with the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD)  and others to establish standards for core competencies, training, and certification of tobacco treatment providers. The Nicotine Dependence Center Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification Program has been accredited by the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs since 2010.

Accreditation Statement:  

In support of improving patient care, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


AMA - Other (Live/Livestream and Online Content)

  • Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science designates this other activity (livestream and online content) for a maximum of 28.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity

Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science designates this activity for 27.50 ANCC contact hours. Nurses should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibly for the content of the programs.

This activity is approved for a maximum of 28.50 credits. Credit is awarded only for actual instructional time.

Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification Training Curriculum (subject to change)

Step 1: Online Training – 11 modules (approximately 1 hour per module) - Must complete the online training prior to attending the onsite training

  • Chronic Disease
  • Neurobiology of Addiction
  • Non-cigarette Tobacco Products
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • E-cigarettes
  • Second-hand Smoke
  • Evidence-based Practice
  • Building and Sustaining Tobacco Treatment Services
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Ethics

Step 2:  Live Training

During the training, Mayo Clinic staff will teach the course using virtual technology in a hybrid. The live portion of the course is a three-day experience that is designed to help participants apply the learning achieved in the online component through demonstrations and practice of patient interactions often encountered in real life situations. This component of the training is highly interactive with participants learning how to assess and treat patients with tobacco use disorders including topics on:  

  • Motivational Interviewing - The Basic Language of Behavior Change
  • Behavior Change Counseling and Group Counseling
  • Assessment and Treatment of Tobacco Dependence
  • Interactive Small Group Sessions
  • Interventions - Working With Challenging Patients
  • Current Trends and Challenges in Tobacco Dependence
  • How to Work With Special Populations Including Pregnancy, Adolescents, and Mental Health and Substance Abuse.  

Mayo Clinic faculty educators are selected for their commitment to teaching as well as clinical practice and research. Our team consists of physicians, master-level counselors who are Mayo Clinic Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists, and other Mayo faculty.  

Application Process

Please review the course prerequisites and cancellation policy prior to registering for the training. We encourage early registration as enrollment is limited. Payment method: All major cards accepted.  

Upon enrollment in the course, you will receive a “welcome letter” via email. This letter will include instructions on how to access pertinent information for both the online and livestream training. If you don’t receive the email within 30 minutes after registering, please contact us at or call 507-266-1093 or 1-800-344-5984 (toll-free).

Registration Process:  As a new user, when creating your profile, under the dropdown "Degrees and/Designations" please indicate your official transcript approved academic degree (ex. BSN, MSN, etc.); do not indicate your professional degree (Ex. RN).  

Registration Fee:  
The registration fee covers the cost of the training and all course materials. The Mayo Clinic Certification examination is also included in the course fee. Upon passing the exam you will receive a Certificate of Completion that is required to pursue National Certification. 

If you are interested in attending a Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification training that has already filled, please feel free to contact us at 507-266-1093 or to inquire about waitlist availability. We  accept up to 8 names on the waitlist.

Course Prerequisites 

Tobacco Status:
We require that anyone applying for TTS training/certification be tobacco-free including the use of electronic nicotine delivery devices (i.e. vaping, e-cigarettes, etc.) for a minimum of six months. Concurrent use of tobacco while treating others for tobacco dependence is detrimental to the person receiving treatment. We strongly recommend that all active tobacco users seek treatment, achieve stable tobacco abstinence, and be free of both tobacco and e-cigarettes before treating others.  

Education:  Minimum required degree is an Associate’s degree in any field. LPN's, Respiratory Therapists, and Pharmacy technicians without an Associate's degree are also eligible. Additional exceptions may be considered (please contact

Fluency in written and spoken English is essential for success in the program. Applicants must be able to demonstrate objective competency in English to participate fully in the program. You may be required to submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or equivalent examination.

Cancellation Policy:
Participants who cancel registration 21 days or more before the on-site start date will receive a full refund (minus a $100 administrative fee). The cancellation must be received in writing.

No refunds are granted for cancellations received within 21 days prior to the on-site start date.  

The Nicotine Dependence Center Education Program reserves the right to cancel or postpone any course due to unforeseen circumstances. In the unlikely event that the NDC Education Program must cancel or postpone a course, the registration fee will be fully refunded, but the NDC Education Program is not responsible for any related costs, charges or expenses, including fees assessed with airline, travel or lodging agencies.

Grievance Procedure:  
The Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center Program Nicotine Dependence Program grievance procedure provides a mechanism to facilitate resolution of conflicts, problems or disagreements raised by individuals enrolled in Mayo education programs, with the exception of disciplinary actions.

Equal opportunity in education at Mayo Clinic is a moral and legal obligation. Mayo Clinic is also committed to upholding federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran's status, disability, or status with regard to public assistance.   



Below is a list of four mandatory requirements to become a Mayo Clinic Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist:

  • Minimum academic requirement: Associate degree in any field.  
  • Completion of both the online and the live training
  • Pass the Mayo Clinic Certification Examination
    • Must score at least an 80%. 
    • Participants must take the certification exam within 14 days after the last day of the live training.  
    • Upon successfully passing the exam, a Certificate of Completion will be provided to the participant. This document is available on the Mayo Certification website. 
  • Submit 240 practice hours. These are hours that must be acquired within 2 years after participants have successfully completed the course. 

Certification renewal:
A TTS certificate will be valid for two years. After successful completion of the course and passing score of the exam (allow 2 weeks for grading) access to the certification database will be available:

  • Renewal of the Certification will require documentation of 18 Continuing Education Hours (CEH) or Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits granted by an accredited organization over two years. 
  • Documentation of continuing education hours must be a certificate of attendance that includes:
    • Participant name
    • Number of hours attended
    • Title of the presentation
    • Name of the speaker, date of the presentation, and signature of the course director. 
    • Hours claimed that are part of a longer course or a course unrelated to tobacco use and dependence, please include a copy of the program agenda indicating the presentations for which you are seeking credit hours.
  • Once you submit for recertification, please wait to review an email confirming that your credits have been approved. You will then be prompted to pay the $35 (Nonrefundable) renewal fee.

Continuing education hours approved as follows:  

  • Tobacco-focused courses - 100%
  • Non-tobacco motivational interviewing - 50%
  • General addiction or addiction courses specific to an area other than tobacco - 50%
  • Attendance at Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center Annual Conference - 100%
  • Health Behavior/Wellness/Prevention and Public Health Courses - 50% (These would include control/prevention/public health workshops)
  • Courses that don't fall under these categories will not be approved for credit - 0 %
  • Tobacco-focused college courses
    • 1 credit = 12 CEH
    • 2 credit = 24 CEH
    • 3 credit = 36 CEH
    • 4 credit = 48 CEH 

National Certification:

Individuals who complete the Mayo Tobacco Treatment Specialist training have the option to pursue national certification. For more information, please visit their website below:

NAT'L Certification

National Certification

Individuals who complete the Mayo Tobacco Treatment Specialist training have the option to pursue national certification. For more information, please visit their website below:


Travel and Lodging

Training Location 

Mayo Clinic - Rochester, Siebens Building

Floor 4, Room 6 (Grumman Lecture Hall)

This building is located across from the Mayo Building and Kahler Grand Hotel.


The training takes places from Tuesday, August 20th at 8 AM - Thursday, August 22nd at 3 PM. Please plan travel and lodging accordingly. 



*All travel and lodging expenses are the sole responsibility of the individual learner*

Hotels to consider for your stay:


Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification - FAQs

How do I get on the waitlist? Please email us at or call 507-266-1093 to ask for waitlist availability.  

How do I secure a spot in the program? Register online and make a payment. 

Payment: All major credit cards are accepted.  

Is Mayo Clinic's TTS Certification training accredited? Yes, we are accredited by the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs (CTTTP).

What is the length of the on-site training and where is the training held?  The training is a combination of online learning (10 approximate hours) along with a three-day on-site training (18 ½ approximate hours) which is held at one of the Mayo Clinic's campuses in either Rochester, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Florida, Scottsdale, Arizona, or Phoenix, Arizona.  Currently most courses are being held in a virtual setting.    

Does the program offer TTS trainings elsewhere if requested? Yes, for those organizations wishing to have several staff trained, we can travel and bring our training to you. For further information, please contact the Nicotine Dependence Center (NDC) Education Program at 800-344-5984 or 507-266-1093 and please ask for the TTS Program Coordinator. You may also email us at  

What is a customized workshop? If you are not needing a full TTS training, we can do a customized 1-2 day workshop offerings on a variety of topics taken from our TTS training. We do many customized workshops focusing on Motivational Interviewing - Basic Coaching Skills, Facilitating Health Behavior Change, and Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. Please contact our Program Director, Tim Milbrandt, at 507-266-1093 to discuss your specific needs.   


What is the passing rate? 80 percent passing rate is required.

How soon do I need to take the test after completing the training? Participants are allowed 2 attempts to pass the Certification exam.  Both attempts must be completed within 14 days after the last day of the training.  

Practice Hours:  
The Practice Hours form requires the Tobacco Treatment Specialist to practice experiences that fall within the scope of the 11 core competencies developed by ATTUD. What kind of work counts toward the required 240 hours?
What kind of work counts toward the required 240 hours?

Please clarify the number of practice hours and criteria for approval: We require a minimum of 240 practice hours completed post-training.  Hours acquired prior to attending the training are not acceptable. When 240 hours are acquired, fill out the practice hour form and submit for approval. Once the hours are approved, participants will be granted TTS Certification by Mayo Clinic. 

What is the deadline for acquiring the minimum practice hours? Participants have two years post-training to acquire the minimum practice hours needed for certification.

What type of practice hours are not accepted? Classroom teaching, working at a health fair or exhibit booth, or working on public or organizational policy are not accepted.

Academic degree: Please indicate highest academic degree when completing online registration form. Although official transcripts are not required initially, we will conduct random audits so participants may be required to submit official transcripts if randomly selected.

What is the minimum educational requirement needed to acquire certification? Associate's degree or higher, in any field.  LPNs without an Associate degree are also eligible. For participants that do not meet the minimum academic degree requirement, please contact us at to request an Educational Exception Agreement form to complete for consideration of an exception.  


What does it cost to recertify? Current fee is $35.00.   

How often do I need to apply for recertification? Every two years.

How many continuing education hours do I need to acquire to recertify? 18 continuing education hours (CEHs) every two years.

Continuing Education Hours are approved as follows:

Tobacco-focused courses: The program approves 100% credit for the following types of CEHs

  • Tobacco-focused courses.
  • Tobacco-related college course credits that fit our CEH guidelines; 1 credit = 12, 2 credit = 24, 3 credit = 36, 4 credit = 48

Non-tobacco courses: The program approves only 50% credit for the following types of CEHs

  • General or specific addiction courses, training, or workshops
  • Motivational interviewing courses/training or workshops
  • Health behavior, wellness, prevention and public health courses/training or workshops.

If I attend a motivational interviewing (MI) course, will the continuing education hours be approved for 100 percent credit or 50 percent credit? The NDC program approves 100 percent credit for tobacco-focused MI courses. If it is not a tobacco-focused MI course, only 50 percent credit is approved. If the title of the course doesn't reflect that it's tobacco-focused, please submit learning objectives.

Can I recertify if my certification is expired? If a participant does not recertify within the two-year time frame, and certification expires; participants will have an additional 6 months to recertify at a higher fee of $100.00. After this six-month grace period, participants will need to retake and successfully complete both the online and the on-site components of the training. Participants will also need to pass the certification examination. If 240 practice hours were approved from the previous certification time frame, those hours will count toward certification status.


Will I receive a full refund if I cancel a course in which I am already enrolled?  If for any reason a participant is unable to participate in the course and needs to cancel registration, we will accept cancellations up until 21 days prior to the first day of the training. No refunds will be granted after that time. A full refund (minus $100 administrative fee) will be given. The cancellation request must be received in writing to the following email: We reserve the right to cancel or postpone any course due to unforeseen circumstances. In the unlikely event that the Nicotine Dependence Center Education Program must cancel or postpone this course, we will fully refund the registration fee.

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