Quitting smoking is the most important thing a patient can do to improve his or her health.
By Dorothy Pardalis, BSc.Phm. CDE, CAE
In order to best help your patients achieve their smoke-free goal, you must first understand that the quit-smoking process is a journey. Helping a smoker move from one stage of change to the next should be viewed as a major success.
There are a number of counselling strategies which pharmacists can integrate into their practices to help smokers move through the stages of change. The top four are:
- Employ a systematic “5As” approach (Ask, Assess, Advise, Assist, Arrange) to help smokers in their quit-smoking journey.
- Use an individualized motivational interviewing approach to more effectively communicate with people who smoke.
- Create awareness around the effects of second-hand smoke and the issues associated with smoking during pregnancy.
- Recommend individualized pharmacotherapeutic interventions that will increase the probability of a smoker’s success in quitting.