One of the most difficult things to deal with when intervening with a patient about tobacco use is how and when to do it. Until now, just telling a patient that they should quit chewing and not offering any assistance or alternatives created some stress for the patient. By offering an alternative, you can now establish a good relationship and give the patient something to use in their own quitting process. When combined into a comprehensive intervention plan, the overall effect towards ultimate cessation can be quite effective. Here are some other suggestions of how to deal with different patient ages:
Be consistent- Ask every patient (especially adolescents) on each visit if they use tobacco. If they don’t, praise them for non-use and urge them to continue avoiding tobacco. If they do chew, briefly inform them of the dangers of tobacco, provide them literature and ask them if they want to quit. Consistently asking someone about their tobacco use, especially young adults, offers many opportunities for intervention.
Kids from about 8yrs to 14yrs- These kids can be some of our best ambassadors of health! You may want to ask them if they use tobacco in either a direct or offhand manner: “I assume you are still not using tobacco, right?” or “How do you feel about kids who are using chewing tobacco?” Ask their opinion about tobacco use and if they know others who chew tobacco. Whatever answer they give you can lead to an intervention opportunity:
“No, I don’t use tobacco”- Your response- “Wonderful, and I don’t ever want you to begin..” Some have expanded this opportunity to ask if they know about the dangers of chewing tobacco so they might be able to tell one of their friends that does use tobacco. Ask if they would like to take some brochures on tobacco cessation to a friend. By intervening now, and letting them know how you feel about tobacco use, they can begin creating an anti-tobacco attitude before they are offered tobacco from a peer or another adult!
“Yes, I have (or do) use chewing tobacco” – It can happen! The best you can do now is to find out how much they are using, why and then tell them briefly about the dangers of tobacco and that they should think about making their own decision to quit. There are no good reasons for them to be chewing tobacco. Offer them information about the dangers of tobacco and try to find out why they chew.
Kids from about 14yrs to 21 yrs- Sometimes this is the toughest group to get to but represent the majority of new users. Asking if they would like to quit and then giving them information about the dangers of tobacco use are a great way to begin. If it is obvious that they are probably going to continue “dipping” anyway, you might want to suggest they do so with a healthy and harmless product like Mint Snuff and offer them a sample can.
People 21 yrs and older- Many of the chewers in this age group have been chewing for many years. However, they may have also read about the dangers of chewing and/or have had their girlfriends or wives urge them to quit. For whatever reason, the health professional can again ascertain their desire to quit and offer an alternative if they need one. These people may need extra help with nicotine withdrawal.
Find out if the patient is ready to quit- If the patient uses tobacco, tell them of your concern that they quit and ask them, “Do you want to quit?” If the answer is YES, continue with the cessation program. If their answer is NO, state “When you want to quit, let me know and we can help,” then go on with your normal procedures. Don’t badger, just let them know that you care and you can help with Snus Nicotine. Cessation experts report that unless a person is ready to quit, your chances of helping them is very low.
Offer help- If your patient uses smokeless tobacco, ask them why they chew, and if they would be able to quit “cold turkey.” Ascertain whether or not they chew for social and/or behavioral reasons (i.e. “other guys do it…,” “only during baseball..,” “I need something in my mouth..,” etc.) If they feel like they want to continue chewing but need help with their behavior by using an alternative, offer Mint Snuff™ All Mint Chew™ or All Mint Pouches™.
This website aims to give you all the information you might need about smokefree issues.
Individuals, as well as local authorities, public sector organisations and private businesses, should all be able to find all the facts about the smokefree movement in general; the reasons for going smokefree; the hurdles to cross; and the people to contact to help you take the smokefree step.
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