Welcome to the Online Tobacco Cessation Center! Developed by the California Tobacco Cessation Center, this web site has been created to help people learn more about smoking cessation. Health care providers across many disciplines can and do play a critical and effective role in helping smoking patients quit. We're glad you've taken the time to visit this site to find out how you can help.
The Online Tobacco Cessation Center is designed to be a central source for resources that have been created by cessation and tobacco control experts. On this site, you have one-stop-shopping access to a variety of resources and materials that are useful in your day-to-day practice.
The Alliance has developed the Health Care Provider's Tool Kit for Delivering Smoking Cessation Services (PDF)
Tobacco use is the single greatest preventable cause of morbidity and premature mortality in the United States today. Because of the chronic and relapsing nature of tobacco dependence, addressing this problem at a health system level remains difficult. Tobacco use is so entrenched in the lifestyles of many Americans, that nothing short of a multifaceted program can even begin to address the problem. To combat the enormous burden on the health of our members caused by tobacco dependence, the Northern California Region undertook a systems approach that relies on the incremental impact of multiple interventions. The Tobacco Dependence Program has contributed to a more than 20% reduction in smoking prevalence, substantially increased both attendance at tobacco-cessation programs and use of antismoking medication, and has become a model for health care systems nationwide.
Patients with a prescription for smoking cessation medication should also be asked if they are receiving additional support aside from their prescribed medication. Only about five per cent of unaided quit attempts result in smokers giving up for good but effective smoking cessation support can significantly increase the chances of success. An effective community programme should run for three months, include several one-to-one consultations and address some key fundamentals including pleasure, behavior, environment and emotion.
The pleasure, or withdrawal, element of smoking can be counteracted using a variety of pharmacological products. Evidence shows that dual therapy, using a combination of nicotine replacement therapy products, leads to more successful outcomes than treatment with a single product.
Combination of medication and behavioural support is thought to substantially increase the chances of successfully quitting.
This is because behavioral habits are generally harder to break which is why it's important that all pharmacists are equipped to offer behavioral support which should also help patients deal with emotional triggers.
Furthermore, the patient's environment plays a huge part in the successfulness of their quitting. If they are surrounded by others who smoke, either at home or work, it might increase their chance of relapsing so it's important to dress environmental triggers as part of an effective smoking cessation programme.
The first four weeks of a smoker quitting are the most significant. In order to avoid early relapses, it's vital to build strong initial relationships with patients during this time and ensure they feel comfortable coming back to you for help and advice.