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Provider Tips:
Smoking Cessation

Photo Woman professional

Clinicians can have a great impact on smoking cessation in their practices. Such counseling is more cost-effective than treating hypertension. The following tips are adapted from the evidence-based AHCPR practice guidelines on smoking cessation.*

Identify smokers

Ask every patient at every visit if she smokes. Write patient's smoking status in chart under vital signs.

Advise / strongly urge all smokers to quit

Urge every smoker to quit in a clear, strong and personalized manner. Ask patients about their desire to quit.

Help those willing to quit

  • Help these smokers set a quit date.
  • Prescribe pharmacotherapy if appropriate:
    • nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine gum, patch or nasal spray).
    • bupropion
  • Arrange smoking cessation counseling interventions as is feasible.

Plan smoking cessation interventions / counseling

Arrange meetings for support and counseling with patients 1 week after the quit date and for as many subsequent weeks as is feasible (4-7 sessions are ideal). This may include group or individual counseling, hotline support or provider office visits. Help smokers recognize and cope with problems encountered in quitting (problem solving /skills training).

Encourage relapsed smokers to try quitting again.

Web resources for your patients

*Adapted from recommendations by
the HHS Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.

Adapted by
Susan Flagler, DNS, ARNP
Associate Professor
Family and Child Nursing
School of Nursing
University of Washington

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