Assisting Patients to Quit
Even brief tobacco dependence treatment is effective and should be offered to every patient who uses tobacco. Studies show that a brief 1-3 minute intervention from a healthcare professional can significantly increase the chances that someone quits smoking successful.
You can use the following protocol which is recommended by the Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence.
ASK: Ask about tobacco use at every visit.
- Implement a system in your health care facility that ensures that tobacco use status is obtained and recorded at every patient visit.
ADVISE: Advise all tobacco users to quit.
- Use clear, strong, personalized, non-judgmental language.
ASSESS: Assess readiness to quit.
- Ask every tobacco user if he/she is willing to quit at this time.
- If willing to quit, provide resources and assistance.
- If unwilling to quit at this time, help motivate the patient: (1) Identify reasons to quit in a supportive manner; (2) Build patient’s confidence about quitting.
ASSIST: Assist tobacco users with a quit plan.
- Assist the tobacco user to:
- Set a quit date, ideally within two weeks.
- Remove tobacco products from their environment.
- Get support from family, friends and coworkers.
- Review past quit attempts – what helped, what led to relapse.
- Anticipate challenges, particularly during the critical first few weeks, including nicotine withdrawal.
- Identify reasons for quitting and benefits of quitting.
- Give advice on successful quitting.
- Encourage the use of medication.
- Provide resources such as 1-800-QUIT-NOW, smokefree.gov or
ARRANGE: Arrange follow-up visits.
- Schedule follow-up visits to review progress toward quitting.
- If a relapse occurs, encourage repeat quit attempts.
- Review circumstances that caused relapse. Use relapse as a learning experience.
- Review medication use and problems.
AHRQ: Helping Smokers Quit
From the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality’s (AHRQ)
From the American Lung Association
American Nurses Association (ANA) Article on Tobacco Cessation
From The American Nurse Today
- CDC: Educational Module Taking Advantage of a Golden Opportunity to Help Tobacco Users Quit
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