HEALTH MATTERS: Plant the seeds of success for smoking cessation

September 2005 
Volume 35  Number 9
Pages 68 - 70
  PDF Version Available!



HOW MANY TIMES have you heard a patient say, “My Uncle Fred smoked three packs a day for 80 years and lived to be 97!” We often meet resistance like this when we advise patients to quit smoking. Even so, smokers who are counseled by health care professionals are more likely to try and to quit for good. And if your patient has been diagnosed with acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, or community-acquired pneumonia, you're required by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations to ask her about her smoking history and then counsel her about quitting smoking.

In this article, I'll tell you how to assess a patient for her readiness to quit and what you can do to help her achieve her goal when she's ready.

Smoking questions

Kicking the smoking habit is notoriously difficult because nicotine is addictive for some and the act of smoking reinforces the habit. So when ...

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