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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: Health professionals should be leaders in the effort to help smokers quit, but most do not get involved despite evidence that their encouragement is a powerful motivator. The Public Health Service's clinical practice guideline —the Five A's—is a comprehensive, evidence-based means of intervening—mainly aimed at physicians-- but few clinicians know about it or are willing to use it.
Methods: The Smoking Cessation Leadership Center and its partners in various health professions have devised a way to enlist more clinicians as tobacco interventionists. First, they target a broad array of clinicians rather than focusing exclusively on physicians. This includes dental hygienists, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, physician assistants and others. Second, they offer a simple alternative—sending smokers to quitlines via the single national number, 1-800 QUIT NOW. The simple message has been embodied in a market-tested tool, the quit card. The session will include a description of how this approach has been implemented by various professional groups and how the quitline number has been marketed through a variety of means, including the consolidation of orders for the quit card (more than 2 million cards have been circulated). The card, in its simplicity, serves effectively as an ice breaker, making it easier for clinicians to broach the subject of smoking, and its design allows the tool to remain with the smoker until he or she is ready to use it.
Results: The net effect has been to bolster the number of clinicians who intervene with tobacco use.