Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Many Smokers Just Need That Extra Push To Help Them Quit

Researchers found that while the vast majority of smokers want to stop, the vast majority who wanted to got little support from their health care providers. Not that they’d approached their provider, either.

68.8% of current cigarette smokers said they would like to completely stop smoking, and 52.4% had tried to quit smoking in the past year. However, 68.3% of the smokers who tried to quit did so without using evidence-based cessation counseling or medications, and only 48.3% of those who had visited a health-care provider in the past year reported receiving advice to quit smoking.

Little overall change has been observed in these measures in the past decade. However, more adults over the age of 25 did try to stop in the same time period. Results appeared Nov. 11 at Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

Researchers analyzed data from the 2001-2010 National Health Interview Surveys and found that 48.3% of patients who saw a health professional in the past year reported receiving advice to quit. Women and those over 65 were more likely to have received cessation advice. Hispanic smokers and those without a health plan were least likely to have received such advice.

Percentage of adults who made a quit attempt in the past year, by ageImage from MMWR. 60(44);1513-1519Among smokers aged 45-64 years, a significant linear increase in quit attempts was observed from 2001 to 2010 (P less than 0.05 for linear trend).

It’s long been noted that advice from a health professional increases quit attempts and increases use of effective medications, which can nearly double to triple rates of successful cessation.

Among current smokers who tried to quit in the past year and former smokers who successfully quit in the past two years, counseling and/or cessation medications use was 31.7% (4.3% had used both).

Because brief cessation advice by health care providers works, clinicians should consistently and routinely identify tobacco users, advise them to quit, and help those engaged in a quit attempt, the authors wrote in MMWR.

Help lines such as 1-800-QUIT-NOW can be a referral source for health-care providers who might not have the time or staff to provide all of the steps in the recommended “5A” cessation counseling model: ask about tobacco use, advise to quit, assess willingness to make a quit attempt, assist in quit attempt, and arrange follow-up.

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »