Cessation Counseling

Can Have a Positive Impact on Patient Outcomes

Developing a
Quit Plan

As a healthcare professional, you have opportunities to discuss smoking with your patients. Perhaps they have admitted to smoking during their health history, or they have come to see you about another illness that may be impacted by smoking.

As an expert in health and wellness, you are in a position to 



The first step toward a
smoke-free life

Once a patient has acknowledged the desire to quit smoking, you can discuss developing his or her personal quit plan. This plan addresses how a person will proceed and how this change will fit into his or her life.1 The Clinical Practice Guidelines for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence recommends combining a treatment plan with an approved smoking cessation medication for optimal results.2

An ideal quit plan consists of 6 components

1Building motivation

Help the patient clarify the reason for wanting to quit.

2Overcoming barriers

Help your patients formulate ways to deal with barriers, such as family members who smoke, and triggers, such as drinking coffee or taking a break.


3Learning coping skills

Skills such as engaging in activities to reduce negative moods or lifestyle changes that decrease stress.

4Gathering support

Friends and family can help. And, at this stage, you can identify medication support, such as nicotine replacement therapy.

5Discovering strengths

Make patients realize they have qualities to succeed.

6Planning the next steps

Quitting is a journey. Help your patients incorporate follow-up steps.


1. Miller WR, Rollnick S. Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change. 3rd ed. New York, NY: The Guild Press; 2013. 2. Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service; 2008.