November 17 is this year’s Great American Smokeout. Occurring the third Thursday of every November, this event encourages people across the country to quit smoking, and thousands of people take part every year, making it a great opportunity to discuss the dangers of smoking and the reasons for quitting with your patients.
Smoking continues to be the top cause of preventable disease and death in the world. Each year in the U.S. alone, over 480,000 people die from smoking-related diseases. And smoking hurts U.S. healthcare practices—costing $130 billion in direct healthcare expenditures.1
PatientPoint is committed to helping patients quit smoking through our patient education resources on our waiting room and exam room screens that are designed to be easy to understand, easy to act on and encourage patients to talk to their doctor about the best treatment to help them quit.
The challenges of helping patients quit smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things a person can do—even when they know about all the health risks associated with it. According to the American Lung Association, smokers struggle to quit because of withdrawal symptoms including trouble sleeping and anxiety, fear of weight gain and tobacco cravings.
As a doctor, you educate patients about the dangers of smoking, but you also inspire them with the knowledge that they are capable of quitting. Motivational interviewing can help your patients change their behaviors by reframing how they think about smoking. A few good questions and open-ended statements can help you and your patients find the right motivation to quit:
Why would you like to quit smoking?
How do you think your kids/family/loved ones are affected by your smoking?
It sounds like trying to quit smoking has been frustrating.
You were fairly successful the last time you tried to quit.
Help your patient clearly define the reasons they want to quit—whether that’s to have more energy to play with their kids, to walk all 18 holes at the golf course or to look and feel better about themself. Education plus motivational support encourages patients to make changes that will last.
Content that inspires and educates
Our approach to creating health content is to make it accessible, actionable and accurate—so patients are empowered to talk to their doctor. And we’ve seen that it works. One of our provider partners showed tobacco cessation counseling content on their in-office screens and experienced a 43% increase in tobacco cessation counseling.2
Along with showing trusted education from the American Lung Association, PatientPoint creates inspiring and informative content about COPD, lung cancer and tobacco cessation for primary care and oncology locations across the United States. Our content also includes tips on how to handle cravings, information on support groups and patient stories.
To learn more about how we helped our provider partners increase not only tobacco cessation counseling but colon cancer screenings, mammograms, flu vaccinations and STI screenings, check out our case study.
1U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking - 50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. 2014.
2Source: Results of matched pair analysis using longitudinal patient medical claims. 12-month total impact measured at a multispecialty health system with 18 locations averaging 13 HCPs each.