Smoking cessation (also known as quitting smoking or stopping smoking) is the process of discontinuing tobacco smoking. Tobacco smoke contains nicotine, which is addictive and can cause dependence.Nicotine withdrawal often makes the process of quitting difficult.
Successful intervention begins with identifying users and appropriate interventions based upon the patient’s willingness to quit. The five major steps to intervention are the “5 A’s”: Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange.
- Ask – Identify and document tobacco use status for every patient at every visit. (You may wish to develop your own vital signs sticker, based on the sample below).
- Advise – In a clear, strong, and personalized manner, urge every tobacco user to quit.
- Assess – Is the tobacco user willing to make a quit attempt at this time?
- Assist – For the patient willing to make a quit attempt, use counseling and pharmacotherapy to help him or her quit. (See Counseling Patients To Quit and pharmacotherapy information in this packet).
- Arrange – Schedule followup contact, in person or by telephone, preferably within the first week after the quit date.