Tips to Help Your Patients Fight Nicotine Addiction
Smoking is a serious addiction that may cause diseases and cancers, not just in the lungs, but other body parts like the bladder and liver. As a healthcare professional, it can be devastating to see your patients suffer the consequences from years of smoking.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco is still the number one most preventable cause of death, so many nurses and physicians speak with their patients on the damages of tobacco use.
If you’re seeing the damages of smoking on your patients’ health-- or if your patients want to quit--there are several ways to gently inform them how to quit.
Here are three ways to help educate your patients on how to stop smoking.
Tip 1: Tips from Former Smokers campaign
The Tips from Former Smokers campaign is run by the CDC. Their free online Download Center features real people who suffer from tobacco smoking or its second hand effects. The website includes videos, radio ads, print ads, and other free resources to motivate your patients on quitting.
Patients who do and do not want to quit may become inspired through interventions with these motivational videos. They’ll become aware of others going through the same challenges and the deadly impact smoking can cause.
Tip 2: Give your patients reasons
Let your patients know they need to have a strong personal reason to quit. If quitting for their health doesn’t convince them, here are reasons to urge your patients to stop smoking:
Family: Family is often a great motivator for quitting. Tell your patients that they can set a great example for their kids or loved ones. If patients quit, they can also help protect those around them from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Life’s milestones: Tell your patients that if they continue to smoke, there’s a great chance they could live shorter lives and 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 more time with loved ones.
Lifestyle: Smoking is costly. If patients quit, they can save money. Other lifestyle improvements include better tasting food and better smelling homes, cars, and clothing.
Appearance: Many people fear the signs of aging. Let your patients know smoking is damaging their skin and teeth. If they quit, they could look younger, healthier, and more presentable.
Tip 3: Counseling
Informing your patients about counseling can help them recover from nicotine addiction. Advise your patients to speak with someone about their problem. A referral to nicotine addiction counselors will benefit them in the long run. Sometimes supplemental medication for nicotine addiction is necessary, but is prescribed at the doctor or nurse practioner’s assessment.
Remember that patients respond better when you kindly educate them with the understanding that smoking can be an addiction. Patients come to healthcare workers for help and advice; you don’t want to shame or belittle your patients about their addiction or habit.
If you’re a healthcare professional, you can also check out the CDC’s other resources or the Lung Association’s Stop Smoking guide for ways to help your patients quit smoking.
If you’re interested in becoming a Licensed Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technician or Practical Nurse, then consider the Salter School of Nursing & Allied Health. All programs are offered at our Manchester, New Hampshire campus.