Healthcare Professionals Learn to Help Patients Quit Tobacco
Over half of Winona County residents who smoke want to quit, according to the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment. The good news is, they can, and there is help available.
Healthcare professionals can play an important role in motivating patients to quit and in connecting those people who use tobacco with resources to help.
Eight members of the Winona community gathered on December 6, 2018 to learn about trends in tobacco use, why tobacco use is a risk factor for multiple diseases, and how healthcare professionals can support their patients who want to quit using tobacco.
Presenter Lynn Sprain, MS, RT, RCEP, of Winona Health shared personal and professional experiences to emphasize how challenging nicotine addiction can be. She gave attendees valuable resources and support options for patients and clients, including the Fagerstrom Test, which assesses the intensity of physical addiction to nicotine, as well quitting aids and treatments, and a form to help customize a quitting plan.
“Smoking can damage nearly every part of your body,” said Lynn Sprain. “Over 28 cancer-causing chemicals are found in smokeless tobacco, alone. As healthcare professionals we can offer support and resources for quitting, but ultimately it’s up to the patient to make the decision to quit.”
Winona County PartnerSHIP, the local Statewide Health Improvement Partnership grantee, hosted the presentation in partnership with Winona Health.
Tobacco is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Minnesota and the Nation. It is also the only legal consumer product on the market that, if used as intended, will kill half of its long-term users.