- HELP YOUR PATIENTS QUIT
Help Your Patients Quit Smoking
The facts are in and you are one of the most effective quit smoking resources available! Health care providers who help patients quit smoking greatly increase the likelihood that your patients will achieve long-term success. 1 2 More than two-thirds of smokers see a physician each year, and almost one-third see a dentist.3 Patient visits present many opportunities for interventions and professional cessation guidance.
If your patients are ready to take the next step in quitting, refer them to Florida’s free and evidence-based resources. Your patients can call the state quitline, use a web-based program, or attend in-person counseling services and they may receive free FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy. Below are referral resources.
The 5A’s for Conducting Brief Interventions
Ask: Identify and document tobacco use status for every patient at every visit.
Advise: In a clear and personalized manner, urge every tobacco user to quit.
Assess: Is the tobacco user willing to make a quit attempt at this time?
Assist: For the patient willing to make a quit attempt, offer medication and provide or refer for counseling or additional treatment to help the patient quit.
Arrange: Schedule follow-up contacts, beginning within the first week after the quit date.
Refer Your Patients
Quitting smoking is hard, but having professional support can make it easier. A number of referral resources exist in Florida to support you and your patients, including:
- Ask them if you can refer them directly to Tobacco Free Florida to help. If they say yes, download and complete the fax referral form located here and below and fax it to: 1-866-688-7577. Once they are in the system, we can follow up with them—and you—and help them overcome their nicotine addiction as a team.
- Or write down Tobacco Free Florida’s website, www.TobaccoFreeFlorida.com and phone number on a paper or prescription pad: 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (1-877-822-6669).
- Provide them with a Tobacco Free Florida information card, which can be downloaded here and provides information about the program’s three free and evidence-based resources.
- You can also provide them with a Quit Kit, which offers tips on how to get started at quitting, common smoking triggers and symptoms and ways to overcome them, as well information about Tobacco Free Florida’s free resources. Or direct them to tobaccofreeflorida.com/quitkit, where they can access, download and print the Quit Kit.
- IN-OFFICE RESOURCES
Here are a few tools you can use to refer your patients to Tobacco Free Florida’s free services and help them quit tobacco for good.
Provider Fax Referral Form
Download the Florida Quitline Referral Form for patients who are ready to quit within the next 30 days and fax it to 1-866-688-7577.
Quit Smoking Today Brochure
Provide your patients with a brochure with quit tips and information about the Tobacco Free Florida’s free services.
Resources, tools and tips to help your patients quit and overcome nicotine withdrawal.
3 Ways to Quit Palm Card
This business card-sized tool has information for patients about Tobacco Free Florida’s free services.
Infographic: Team Up to Quit Map
This Florida map is a visual fact sheet about the importance of health care provider interventions to help patients quit tobacco.
Infographic: Team Up to Quit Banner
A visual tool that uses data to explain why patients should team up with their health care providers and with Tobacco Free Florida to quit for good.
- NICOTINE REPLACEMENT
About Nicotine Replacement Therapy, Pharmaceuticals & Other Quit Aids
There are nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), pharmaceuticals, and other quit therapies that can help smokers deal with withdrawal symptoms and can lessen the urge to smoke. Using these products can double their chances of quitting. Tobacco Free Florida offers free NRT to Floridians, like nicotine patch and nicotine gum, when medically appropriate through its “3 Ways to Quit” services. Click here for more information about our free services.
If you prescribe a pharmaceutical solution, those patients can still tap into our support systems for additional help including cessation counseling.
You should only recommend products that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as these products have been proven safe and effective. Encourage patients to use them as directed on the product label. Using unapproved products could derail an attempt to quit smoking and prolong a smoker’s battle. Even worse, non FDA-approved products can carry serious health risks. NRT is only approved for sale to adults age 18 or older – younger patients may require other options.
Remind patients that NRT, pharmaceuticals and other quit aids are best used as part of a personalized quit plan. Tobacco Free Florida has free resources for patients. Click here to learn more.
NRTs work and can double a smoker’s chances of quitting alongside behavioral support from Tobacco Free Florida!
Over-the-Counter (OTC) NRTs Include:
Skin Patches: Available as a generic product known as transdermal nicotine patches, as private-label products, and under brand names like Habitrol and Nicoderm. These patches are affixed to the skin, similar to how you would apply an adhesive bandage.
Chewing Gum: Available as a generic product known as nicotine gum, as private-label products, and under brand names like Nicorette.
Lozenges: Available as a generic product known as nicotine lozenges, as private-label products, and under brand names like Commit.
Prescription-Only NRTs Include:
A nasal spray and an oral inhaler are available under brand names like Nicotrol.
Non-Nicotine Quit Aids:
Prescription-only non-nicotine medications, like Chantix (varenicline tartrate) and Zyban (buproprion), are approved by the FDA to help patients quit smoking. They show very promising results for patients in their quit attempts by decreasing cravings and withdraw symptoms. Both carry serious risks, and patients should be made aware of these risks and monitored during use.
- HELP PATIENTS OVERCOME WITHDRAWAL
Helping Patients Overcome Withdrawal
Quitting smoking can be a long and emotional process for your patients. If one of your patients chooses to quit smoking, be sure to let them know of the possible withdrawal symptoms they may experience – like irritability, hunger and dizziness – and how to adequately and successfully deal with them.
While they may be aware of the health consequences of smoking and the damage their secondhand smoke can do to others, they may not be prepared for the physical and emotional changes of quitting. The struggle with nicotine addiction and “letting go” of smoking is due to the fact that smoking is also behavioral and closely linked to their daily activities. It may even serve as a coping mechanism or stress reliever to some.
The combination of physical and psychological strain that quitting smoking presents for patients is best met by providing guidance and encouragement to facilitate a successful quit attempt.
The Tobacco Free Florida Quit Kit provides useful resources you can review with and provide to your patients. Within the Quit Kit, patients will find information on triggers, quit tips, specific symptoms and coping methods – all of which can help prepare your patients for their quit journey. For more information, check out the Quit Kit.
Remember, many of the “symptoms” your patients will experience will also be good ones! Be sure to point out the immediate positive changes associated with quitting smoking.
- ACCESSING FREE SERVICES
Encourage Your Patients to Get Help.
Encourage your patients to get help. Write down the Florida Quitline number on a paper or prescription pad: 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (1-877-822-6669). More effectively, ask them if you can refer them directly to help. If they say yes, download and complete the fax referral form located below and fax it to: 1-866-688-7577. Once they are in the system, we can follow up with them—and you—and help them overcome their nicotine addiction together.3 FREE & EASY WAYS TO HELP YOUR PATIENTS QUIT
Talk to a Quit Coach® who can help you quit tobacco.
An online program to help you quit tobacco is a click away.
Looking for local face-to-face help? Find classes near you.
- QUIT TIPS
We know quitting isn’t easy. Truth is, the average smoker attempts to quit smoking between 8 and 11 times before ultimately quitting for good. Many are left feeling like smoking is an addiction they cannot overcome.1 But with the right help, resources, and the support to keep you going, you will have the best chance to quit smoking for good.
Having a quit plan ready is key to quitting successfully. While the road to becoming tobacco-free is not always smooth, being prepared for the bumps along the way will help you stay on course, avoid triggers and overcome nicotine cravings.
And while quitting is hard, it is possible. In fact, there are far more former smokers than current smokers in Florida. Here are some quick quit tips to help you become one of them:
- Drink lots of water. Make sure your fridge is always stacked and that you take water with you when you’re on-the-go.
- Have gum or mints handy for when cravings kick in.
- Get your teeth cleaned and/or whitened.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda, and avoid alcoholic drinks.
- Enjoy healthy snacks like carrots and celery, fruits, and sugar-free snacks.
- Keep your hands and mouth occupied with cinnamon sticks, toothpicks or straws.
- Wash or dry-clean your clothes and have your car cleaned inside and out to get rid of the smell of cigarettes.
- Have the carpet, draperies, bed sheets and other fabrics inside your home cleaned and deodorized to remove the lingering smell of cigarette smoke.
- For some time, try to stay away from places where there will be smoking: like bars, nightclubs and the outdoor areas of restaurants that allow smoking.
- Become physically active, whether it’s at a gym, with friends or on your own. Something as simple and easy as walking will help.
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1 Association of American Medical Colleges. Physician Behavior and Practice Patterns Related to Smoking Cessation. A Report Prepared for the American Legacy Foundation. 2007. http://www.legacyforhealth.org/PDFPublications/Physicians_Study.pdf