A smoking cessation intervention program for family physicians.
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Family physicians are able to approach many patients who smoke but are often hesitant to help them quit. Lack of knowledge about effective interventions is a major reason for this hesitancy. The important components that have been tested in physician-initiated smoking cessation interventions are advice to quit, information about the risks of smoking and techniques for quitting, nicotine gum, setting a date for quitting and offers of supportive follow-up visits. We describe a cessation program developed for family physicians that incorporates these factors into three types of visits over a 2-month period: the challenge visit, which occurs during a regular office visit and focuses on advice and setting a date to quit; the quit-date visit, which involves instructing patients on the proper use of nicotine gum, if applicable, and confirming their desire to quit; and four supportive follow-up visits, which provide continuing encouragement for 2 months and allow physicians to monitor withdrawal symptoms, relapses and other problems. Such a program can be effectively incorporated into a general practice.
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