What are the DHHS Clinical Practice Guidelines for smoking cessation?

Updated: May 25, 2018
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The DHHS Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, last updated in 2008, contains the following key recommendations [14] :

  • Tobacco dependence is a chronic disease that often requires repeated intervention and multiple attempts to quit
  • Effective treatments exist that can significantly increase rates of long-term abstinence
  • It is essential that clinicians and health care delivery systems consistently identify and document tobacco use status and treat every tobacco user seen in a health care setting
  • Tobacco dependence treatments are effective across a broad range of populations. Clinicians should encourage every patient willing to make a quit attempt to use recommended counseling treatments and medications
  • Brief tobacco dependence treatment is effective; clinicians should offer every patient who uses tobacco a brief intervention using a five-component strategy (“5 As”).

The “5 As” strategy comprises the following:

  • Ask about tobacco use
  • Advise to quit
  • Assess willingness to make an attempt to quit
  • Assist in quit attempt
  • Arrange follow-up

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