Helping Patient’s Love Themselves: Part 3 – Tobacco Cessation

Learning to love ourselves and making sure our bodies and minds are healthy is not as easy as it seems. Teaching patients to do the same can be even more of a challenge. But, using health coaching techniques, such as Motivational Interviewing (MI), Active Listening & Goal Setting, it can be made easier.

Throughout this Valentine’s themed series, we will focus on ways to love yourself, or to get your patients to love themselves using healthy techniques. Today’s blog will specifically focus on tobacco cessation.

Smoking has been linked to so many health issues, chronic illnesses, and fatal diseases that everyone knows the habit can kill you or shorten your life. However, the addiction is hard to break and sometimes that information is still not enough to convince someone they should quit.

For some patients, giving them specific facts, such as “the risk of a heart attack and death from coronary heart disease is reduced by 50% in the first year after smoking cessation” may help persuade them. Seeing how the statistics correlate to their own health issues may begin their thought-change process. However, facts may continue to be ignored.

The main thing to consider is whether the patient is ready or not to make the change. If the client is not ready, explore their ambivalence and fears related to quitting, address the barriers they present, discuss their co-behaviors related to smoking, and don’t take it personally! The patient has to be the one to make the decision to quit, no one can force that on them.

If they are ready, help them set a realistic quit date, identify their co-behaviors so you can create a strategy with them, and build their support team! Family and friends can be great support and they will need it.

The health benefits to quitting are so great and can change their entire life and help them love themselves more.

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