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MULTIMEDIA TOOLS TO HELP
SMOKERS WHO WANT TO QUIT

Chris WalmsleySpecialist Stop Smoking Advisor,North Yorkshire Stop Smoking Service; Clinical Lead (Smoking Cessation), This year there is more reason than ever for people to stop smoking,with the ban on
smoking in public places coming into force in July. How can we support smokers
who want to quit? In this article, we provide a comprehensive guide to resources
that can help.
Many smokers know that smoking is the single greatest cause of premature death in the UK, but because of the highly addictive nature of nicotine countless smokers find it difficult to stop. The good news is research has shown that if smokers receive support in their bid to stop, they are four times more likely to succeed general view was: “Is it worth all the effort talking to smokers?” Instead, we all recognise that helping someone to stop smoking is the best gift you can give to a patient or their family, with research showing the cost-effectiveness of continued government funding of local smoking cessation services, is due to the availability of skilled advisors in general practice who provide one-to-one or group support for patients making a quit attempt. However, with the smoke-free legislation coming into effect on the 1st July 2007 primary care will see many more heavily dependent smokers searching for advice and support in quitting. Some of these smokers trying to quit may need more support than can be given in two weekly sessions. One way to encourage them is to provide self-help resources, which are generally available free-of-charge.
The good news is research has shown that if
smokers receive support in their bid to stop, they are four times
more likely to succeed than those who get no help
SELF-HELP PATIENT INFORMATION
The mainstay of stop smoking support is the NHS Giving up for life booklet, which groups detailed information on different topics to form a work book or reference book. People can gain a basic insight into why they smoke by filling in the smoking diary, in conjunction with the addiction triangle. This helps smokers to identify the three main focus areas for making an action plan in order to have a successful quit attempt. Many people are happy to fill this in and are surprised by the self-knowledge it provides.
Smoking triangle
Will & Deni McIntyre/Science Photo Librar FOR THE BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED
Stop smoking resources for
For blind or partially sighted smokers, a Braille Emotional
young people
version of Giving up for life may be obtained from Reducing the targets for the young people is proving www.givingupsmoking.co.uk or by phoning 0800169 challenging. However, there are many loud, vivid coloured interactive websites (see Table) with Although it may seem obvious, it is worth noting Nicotine dependence
practical activities, games and competitions that that only people who have been taught Braille will be Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and Zyban young smokers wanting to quit can access. Many able to use this resource so it is important to ask have been designed specially by young people and Loma Linda California (2003). Adapted from a model and methods used in first. If the Braille version is not suitable, then the Gerry L Pettis War Veterans Hospital.
information in the book is available on cassette or NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING SMOKERS
CD and is presented in an enjoyable format of expert Statistics show that girls aged 11-15 are more For non-English-speaking smokers, stop smoking advice, quiz shows, news headlines and positive likely to be regular smokers than boys. Directing leaflets can be obtained in different languages comments from ex-smokers, all contributing to an these young smokers to www.uglysmoking.info, simply by phoning the appropriate language helpline informative, yet easy, listening experience.
which shows the harmful and quite scary effects of (see Table), giving details and a pack will be sent to A text phone support service (0800 169 0 171) smoking on skin and teeth, may have a big impact.
the patient. All ethnic minority translations are is available for deaf or partially deaf smokers, which available in PDF format for downloading and provides ongoing support in a method similar to www.stayinghard.info which gives hard-hitting facts However, it is important to be aware that some reproductive system. Both of these websites, working YOUNG PEOPLE
in conjunction with recent television adverts, are patients from ethnic minorities may be able to colourful, funky and full of helpful tips and messages.
speak their language but unable to read the written incorporates telephone or online support with posted word. Even those who can read their language may written materials, to increase the intensity of the websites, information can be sent by mail by texting find the language used in the books difficult to read.
intervention. This is an approach that has been UGLY to 84118 and STAYING HARD to 84118.
PREGNANT WOMEN
Reducing the rates of smoking among pregnant It is available for young people aged 14 and over TELEPHONE HELPLINES
women is part of Department of Health targets, but living in England, but if the smoker is under 14 the Many people are not avid readers, so telephone reaching these targets is proving difficult. There are NHS smoking helpline will still offer support and counselling helplines are a good option for follow-up specialist pregnancy advisors for pregnant women, advice. An easy-to-read pack, containing lots of after face-to-face cessation advice. They have been but research has shown that many pregnant women practical help and advice on how to get started and shown to achieve a small increase in success rates.
are likely to quit after being given a leaflet early in keeping going in a quit attempt, is sent to the The individualised encouragement offered, outside their pregnancy. A selection of informative leaflets, smoker before their designated quit day. The pack surgery hours, can be just what is needed to get the along with other resources, can be obtained from contains lots of insights from smokers who have patient through a tough time when they are at their successfully managed to stop, giving further most vulnerable, low in confidence and finding it difficult to resist the craving for a cigarette.
A variety of telephone helplines (see Table) are available for different groups of people, including ethnic minorities, young people and available to give ongoing support throughout E-mail counselling may suit people who find it easier to discuss personal matters such as smoking when they have time to prepare their thoughts, making e-mail correspondence more suitable than telephone. It may also suit some people’s lifestyle or working hours and means overheard. Free individual support that is e-mailed on the same day is available from [email protected] or [email protected]
Some of the websites have discussion boards or buddy schemes (see Table), which may appeal to smokers living alone, providing an opportunity for them to realise that other smokers are going through the same experiences and that they are The NHS website www.givingupsmoking.co.uk provides answers to frequently asked questions.
If smokers can’t find an answer to their query, they can click on ‘ask an expert’ and receive a personalised e-mail response from a specialist INTERNET ACCESS
Using the Internet can be supportive in a more information. There is a perception that many people have limited access and skills in the use of the Internet, but it is amazing how many people are able to access this facility through family and friends or at libraries. Some sites are entertaining with interactive resources such as calculators, meters and games, in addition to providing important information. Many smokers wishing to quit live with smokers and playing interactive games on a website may be a way of prompting their partner to quit as well, as they IN CONCLUSION
We live in a multimedia society where it is the norm to use mobiles, texts and the Internet, so ‘be the patient’s advocate’ and direct them to the assortment of support that is ‘out there’ giving those wishing to quit the opportunity to

Source: http://www.bjpcn-respiratory.com/pdf/2649/Vol1_Num2_March_2007_p87-89.pdf?sid=83f890738a12bb41

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