Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Only Half of U.S. Doctors Advise Their Patients to Quit Smoking

Fewer U.S. physicians are talking to their patients about quitting smoking, despite surveys that show the majority of smokers want to quit. Health Care Providers’ Advice to Quit Smoking, a national health interview survey by CDC researchers, shows the percentage of smokers who received smoking cessation advice from their health care providers decrease from 58.9 percent in 2005 to 50.7 percent in 2010. 

At the same time fewer doctors are talking to their patients about smoking, more Colorado smokers are trying to quit. According to state surveys, 90 percent of smokers are considering quitting; 53 percent have tried to quit at least once; and only 3 percent report success.

Physicians and other health care providers can make a difference in their patients’ success to end their tobacco addictions. Tobacco dependence is a chronic relapsing disease requiring multiple clinical interventions and patient quit attempts. Evidence indicates that patients are more likely to successfully quit smoking when clinicians intervene.

Physicians and other health care providers can help improve the health of their patients who use tobacco by integrating tobacco interventions in every patient interaction; recommending a combination of counseling and pharmacotherapy shown to produce the highest success rate; and making patients aware of the health risks of secondhand smoke exposure, especially to children.

Resources for Health Care Providers

Colorado QuitLine – 1-800-QUIT-NOW or www.COQuitLine.org - telephone counseling and quit-smoking medication for eligible patients

www.Myquitpath.org  – quit smoking resources for smokers ready to quit, with Text/SMS-based assistance and special information for smokers who are pregnant or on Medicaid

Helping Smokers Quit – a FREE Webinar for Health Care Providers – health impacts, treatment options, best practices, counseling strategies and tools for health care providers

Health Team Works – clinical guidelines for health care providers

Public Health Service (PHS) Clinical Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence - 2008 Update - strategies and recommendations designed to assist clinicians in delivering and supporting effective treatments for tobacco use and dependence

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