For the patient willing to make a quit attempt, use counseling and pharmacotherapy to help him or her quit. Use the Fax to Quit referral form to connect patients with counseling and other support provided by the NY State Smokers’ Quitline 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487).

Help the patient with a quit plan:

  • Set a quit date -- ideally, the quit date should be within 2 weeks.
  • Tell family, friends, and coworkers about quitting and request understanding and support.
  • Anticipate challenges to planned quit attempt, particularly during the critical first few weeks. These include nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
  • Remove tobacco products from your environment. Prior to quitting, avoid smoking in places where you spend a lot of time (e.g., work, home, car).

Provide practical counseling:

  • Abstinence -- Total abstinence is essential. "Not even a single puff after the quit date."
    Past quit experience -- Identify what helped and what hurt in previous quit attempts.
  • Anticipate triggers or challenges in upcoming attempt -- Discuss challenges/triggers and how patient will successfully overcome them.
  • Alcohol -- Since alcohol can cause relapse, the patient should consider limiting/abstaining from alcohol while quitting.
  • Other smokers in the household -- Quitting is more difficult when there is another smoker in the household. Patients should encourage housemates to quit with them or not smoke in their presence.

Help patient obtain treatment social support:

Provide a supportive clinical environment while encouraging the patient in his or her quit attempt: "My office staff and I are available to assist you. "Help patient develop social support in his or her environments outside of treatment: "Ask your spouse/partner, friends, and coworkers to support you in your quit attempt."

Recommend the use of approved pharmacotherapy:

Explain how these medications increase smoking cessation success and reduce withdrawal symptoms. See chart for dosing and precautions.