There are two things I have learned over the years regarding advising patients on tobacco cessation. First is the abbreviated AAR (Ask, Advise, Refer) skill derived from the five A’s (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange) method Second, never underestimate even your most resistant patients.
I have met a fair share of resistant people in my time, none closer to me than my own father when he was 63. I have tried motivational interviewing, suggestions for use of nicotine replacement therapy, referrals to cessation programs, and all the support I could offer over the years, to no avail. My father would mumble out a familiar phrase, “I quit for three years and it was the most miserable three years of my life,” followed by, “I would rather die happily as a smoker than go through that feeling again.” As we know, things change and we should be ready with the right attitude to support those changes.
When it comes to tobacco cessation, learn how to perform a brief tobacco intervention by utilizing the 5A’s or AAR method, and connect patients who wish to talk to a professional about the benefits of quitting smoking to a Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) located at the State Smokers’ Quit Line. Refer your patients to 1-800- Quit Now.
“Scare and scold” tactics are not the best approach, but giving your patients the facts will allow them to make an informed decision. Here are several principles that will help your patients understand how smoking—and quitting—will affect them. Learn these principles and use them in talking with patients…
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