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Posted By Monique Dever On August 1, 2017

The 5 A’s for Smoking Cessation Interventions

“The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 7 million people a year” according to the World Health Organization.  Of those deaths, more than 6 million are caused by direct tobacco use while another 890,000 are the result of second-hand smoke exposure.
 

The 5 A’s smoking cessation plan is a brief intervention approach developed by the US Public Health Service to enhance motivation for smokers to change their behavior.   Your electronic Health Record (EHR) software can make it easy for you to reduce the number of deaths using a built-in 5A’s questionnaire.  This is really useful for local health departments and community health centers. A brief intervention, directed by healthcare providers and typically only lasting only 1-15 minutes, can help the smoker (patient) establish goals, motivational strategies, and a plan of action for quitting success.  The 5 A’s programs include the following steps:
 

Ask: Take just a few minutes with your patients to learn about their tobacco use and habits.

Advise: Provide an educational and personalized message to the smoker to help them understand the health risks of smoking.  Include the dangers of second-hand smoke as well as share language they can use to help peer smokers quit.

Assess:  Determine the patient’s willingness to quit – does the patient want to quit, or have no desire to quit or just not yet.

Assist: Provide help for patients to quit smoking.  Walk them through the 5R’s exercises.

  • Relevance – Discuss why and how quitting is relevant to the patient?
  • Risks – Discuss the risks they take by smoking
  • Rewards – Identify the rewards they would benefit from by quitting
  • Roadblocks – Address the roadblocks the patient will face and help find a way around them
  • Repetition – Review the 5 A’s at every visit

Arrange: Schedule appointments and follow-ups with specialists as needed.

Tobacco users need help to quit and healthcare providers are in a unique position to help encourage smoking cessation.  The 5 A’s is an easy to follow program that can be flexible in its delivery method.  Take the time with your patients, at every visit, to help the smoking cessation cause.

About Monique Dever

Monique integrates research and networking with her passion for health and well-being to provide important, up-to-date news, resources and current events to the public health communities. She is the Marketing Executive for Patagonia Health, an Electronic Health Records (EHR) software company focused on the public health sector.

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