Tobacco Cessation Treatment Infographic
Text version of infographic
Why offer patients cessation medication and counseling when they want to quit smoking? This evidence-based intervention can significantly enhance tobacco abstinence rates. When combined, medication and counseling give patients their best chance of a successful quit.
What does cessation medication do? Cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance. Withdrawal from nicotine can cause: insomnia, difficulty concentrating, hunger, depression, irritability, cravings, restlessness, and anxiety. Cessation medications help an individual manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms and cope with the urge to smoke. When certain FDA-approved cessation medications are combined, abstinence rates increase.
What does counseling do? Tobacco cessation counseling helps the patient work on the "habit" component of their nicotine addiction. By knowing one's triggers, an individual can begin to delink the trigger situation and the desire to smoke (stressful situations, drinking alcohol, and drinking coffee).
Estimated abstinence rate by number of counseling sessions plus medication: There is a strong dose-response relationship between the number of counseling sessions and abstinence, just 2-3 counseling sessions increase abstinence rates. 0-1: 21.8%; 2-3: 28%; 4-8: 26.9%; >8: 32.5%.
Doesn't counseling a patient to quit smoking take a lot of time? There is a strong dose-response relationship between the counseling session length and abstinence, but even minimal counseling of 3 minutes or less can increase abstinence rates. No contact: 10.9%; Minimal counseling (less than 3 minutes): 13.4%; Low-intensity counseling (3-10 minutes): 13.4%; Higher-intensity counseling (more than 10 minutes): 22.1%.
What clinics offer tobacco cessation treatment? Providers can offer patients cessation medication and counseling in many VA settings including: substance use disorder clinics, mental health clinics, infectious disease clinics, primary care clinics, dental clinics, women's clinics, pharmacies, and tobacco cessation specialty clinics.
Abstinence rates increase when treatment is delivered by different types of clinicians: No clinician: 10.2%; Self-help: 10.9%; Nonphysician clinician: 15.8%; Physician clinician: 19.9%
What evidence-based interventions does VA provide? Using more than one treatment format to quit smoking improves abstinence rates. No format: 10.8%; 1 format: 15.1%; 2 formats: 18.5%; 3 or 4 formats: 23.4%.
Minimal or no counseling or self-help: 8.5%; Text message: 11.1%; Quitline counseling: 12.7%; Medication alone: 23.2%; Medication and quitline counseling: 28.1%
1-855-QUIT-VET: A quitline staffed by trained counselors, www.publichealth.va.gov/smoking/quitline.asp
SmokefreeVET: A text messaging service, www.smokefree.gov/VET