Anti-smoking resources could help your patients quit for good!
Seeing patients suffer from preventable diseases can be heartbreaking. People who suffer from nicotine and tobacco addiction often suffer the consequences on their mental and physical well-being.
As a healthcare worker, you don’t want to see your patients, or their loved ones, suffer from the burdens of smoking. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that tobacco use is still the most preventable cause of death in the United States. Many doctors, nurses, medical assistants, and other healthcare professionals frequently provide tips and resources for their patients to stop the deadly habit.
If you have patients who smoke, take the time to suggest resources and other ways for them to quit. You don’t want to regret not suggesting help when you see the effects on their health. Here are some ways you can help you patients quit smoking:
1. Reasons to quit
Start off by giving your patients reasons to quit. Giving them personal justifications can help reiterate the importance of staying healthy. Although, you can list all of the negative health reasons—including lung, liver, and bladder cancer—for your patients to quit, here are other benefits:
Family: Thinking about the impact smoking has on family and loved ones can be a motivator for quitting. Tell patients to set a good example for their kids and family members. Speaking with patients about quitting can help emphasize that they can protect their family members from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Important milestones: Mention to smokers that they could live longer lives if they quit. Otherwise, they may miss out on life’s important milestones or family celebrations. Quitting smoking helps decrease the chance of getting sick and increases the chance of spending and enjoying more time with loved ones.
Lifestyle: Your patients could save several hundred or thousands of dollars each year if they quit. They can use that money to build a healthier and happier lifestyle. Other lifestyle improvements include better tasting food and better smelling homes, cars, and clothing.
Appearance: Patients can also build their self-confidence by quitting. Let your patients know smoking is damaging their skin and teeth. If they quit, they could look younger, healthier, and more presentable.
2. Tips from Former Smokers Campaign
If you think your patients need more reasons to quit, then suggest the CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers Campaign. This campaign features free online interviews with tobacco users who are experiencing the direct or secondhand effects of smoking cigarettes. This resource also offers videos, radio and print ads, and other free resources to inspire your patients to quit smoking. These videos and resources can be helpful motivators to use during interventions. If patients see others experiencing the same problems, they may listen to their stories more intently.
Since nicotine and tobacco addictions are serious, suggest for your patients to see a counselor. Speaking with a professional addiction counselor could help them understand the reasons why they smoke and how they can quit. Supplemental medications may need to be provided by a registered nurse or doctor.
Reminder: Be Kind
Don’t berate your patients for smoking. People who smoke are battling an addiction so try to be understanding. Your gentle suggestion of ways to quit could be the impetuous someone needs to change their habits for good. Remember, as a healthcare worker, you’re there to give help and advice to benefit their health and well-being. Remaining non-judgemental could help your patients accept the fact that they need to quit.
ACMC features health and wellness articles, student tips, and career-focused articles in its weekly blog. You can help provide support for patients by entering one of our healthcare training programs. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a tour of our Orlando, FL campus.