Encouraging Smoking Cessation: A Call for Nurse Practitioners

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The number of Americans who smoke is on the decline, but the need for strategies to facilitate smoking cessation remains a priority for nurse practitioners (NPs).

Despite just 13.7% of adults in the United States smoking cigarettes — an all-time low — cigarette smoking is still the leading cause of preventable disease, death and disability in the U.S. Approximately 480,000 people die each year from cigarette smoking-related disease. Out of those 480,000 deaths, 41,000 are due to secondhand smoke exposure.

More than 16 million people in the U.S. are living with a disease caused by smoking. Common comorbidities and sequelae include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, diabetes, myocardial infarction, lung cancer and other cancers.

Between 60% and 70% of people who smoke report that they would like to quit, and 55% have attempted to quit in the past year. However, success with smoking cessation tends to be low, especially in patients who do not receive support from their primary care provider. The U.S. Public Health Service guidelines recommend that, at every visit, primary care providers offer smoking cessation advice and brief counseling to all tobacco users who are considering quitting, as well as medication, brief tobacco dependence treatments and — for tobacco users currently unwilling to quit — motivational treatments.

Play Your Role: Help Decrease Tobacco Use

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the 2020 Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®) campaign.

The Tips campaign profiles real people who are living with serious long-term health effects from smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. With a goal of building public awareness of the health implications related to smoking, the Tips campaign encourages smoking cessation and urges people who do not smoke to protect themselves from secondhand smoke exposure.

NPs can play a key role in increasing the rates of smoking cessation in communities across the U.S. Access this campaign resource page for free Tips materials to use in your practice.

  • Educational posters and videos, available for you to download and share with patients in your practice.
  • Downloadable patient handouts that share reasons to quit smoking.
  • Referral notepads that include 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569).
  • A case study that highlights how health care systems and providers have used Tips resources and materials to encourage patients to quit smoking.

Learn More About the Tips Campaign

Smoking Cessation Education From AANP

Now available in the AANP CE Center is Strategies to Facilitate Smoking Cessation, which offers current guidelines to improve smoking cessation rates. Motivational interviewing role-playing vignettes allow you to apply these guidelines and smoking cessation techniques to a case scenario.

This 1.25 contact hour CE activity also discusses the role of NPs in addressing barriers and preventing relapse and the mechanisms of action of smoking cessation pharmacotherapies. Visit the AANP CE Center to learn more and register for the activity.

Visit the AANP CE Center