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Tips on Assisting Your Patients to Quit Smoking Successfully: The Five A's

The US DHHS Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline* recommends five major steps for intervention in the primary care setting to help patients to quit smoking.


Ask every patient at every visit "Do you smoke?" Document tobacco use status along with vital signs


In a clear, strong, and personalized manner, urge every tobacco user to quit.  Tailor your advice to the patient's clinical situation


Is the smoker willing to make a quit attempt at this time?  If not ready, use motivational counseling, such as the "5R's"


For the patient willing to make a quit attempt, use counseling and pharmacotherapy to help them quit.  Use the Fax-to-Quit referral form to connect patients with counseling and other support provided by the NY State Smokers' Quitline 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or contact Bronx BREATHES to obtain a Click-to-Quit account


Schedule follow-up contact, in person or by telephone, preferably within the first week after the quit date 

*Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. May 2008.

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