ENCOURAGE YOUR PATIENTS TO QUIT SMOKING
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As a health care professional, you’re in a unique position to positively affect a smokers decision to quit tobacco use. If 100,000 health care professionals were to help just 10% of their smoking patients quit, an estimated 3 million smokers would quit each year.
Once you’ve had the initial discussion with your patient, schedule a telephone or office follow-up. Talk with patients a few days after they've quit and again later in the month. Congratulate them if they've been successful or offer them assistance if they haven't. Discuss more intensive treatments if necessary.
HOW TO HELP
Help your patients to quit smoking by following the 5 A’s:
- ASK. “Do you smoke?” Record in every patient chart at every visit.
- ADVISE. “I strongly advise you to quit smoking for your health and the health of your family and friends.”
- ASSESS. “Are you ready to quit within the next 30 days?” If they are ready to quit, encourage them to set a quit date that falls within the next two weeks.
- ASSIST. Brief counseling.
• Prescribe medications or recommend over-the-counter.
• Refer to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline 1-800-QUIT NOW
- ARRANGE. Advise the patient to set a follow up appointment.
MORE QUICK TIPS
- Suggest that smokers make their quit date known to others and that they seek the support of friends, family members, and coworkers.
- Recommend pharmacotherapy for patients who are not pregnant or nursing.
- Advise patients to avoid smoking in their typical places (e.g., work, home, car) prior to the quit date, and to remove tobacco products from their environment after quitting.
- CDC Clinician Sheet, a fact sheet that provides simple talking points and key information to help medical providers talk to their patients about quitting tobacco use.
- BecomeAnEx.org, a Web site to assist individuals who want to quit smoking.
- MyLastDip.com, a Web-based treatment program for young smokeless tobacco users, is available to your community as an important resource. Chewing tobacco and snuff users aged 14-25 can register to take part in this free, self-help quitting program. Participants are asked to complete research questionnaires on-line to help evaluate the quitting program, and can earn up to $40 in return. Please visit http://info.mylastdip.com for more information about starting program initiatives in your community.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Public Health Advisory Alert for New Safety Warnings Concerning Chantix
On February 1, 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an updated Public Health Advisory to alert health care providers, patients, and caregivers to new safety warnings concerning Chantix (varenicline), a prescription medication used to help patients stop smoking. This communication can be viewed at http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01788.html