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FAQs for Health Care Providers

Why is CDC focusing on health care provider outreach?

CDC recognizes that health care providers play a crucial role in helping tobacco users quit. These health care providers include, but are not limited to:

  • Doctors
  • Physician assistants
  • Dentists
  • Dental hygienists
  • Nurses
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Midwives
  • Pharmacists

As Tips® ads show, tobacco use has a tremendous impact on patients’ overall health and their oral health. CDC hopes to reach out to health care providers in an inclusive way, knowing that each member of the health care team has an impact on their patients’ well-being.

As a health care provider, I have a number of other competing health issues to address with patients. Why is addressing tobacco use still important?

Tobacco use is still the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. It is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and other common chronic diseases. The good news is that the majority of tobacco users say they want to quit, and nearly half try to quit each year. However, only 4% to 7% of smokers are successful in quitting each year. Brief advice from you significantly increases the chances that your patient will try to quit and do so successfully. Smokers cite health care professional advice to quit as an important motivator for attempting to stop smoking. You can make a difference!

As a health care provider, what resources are available to help me support my patients in quitting?

Talking with your patients about quitting tobacco use has never been easier. A number of referral resources exist to support your work with patients, including the toll-free 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline and 1-855-DÉJELO-YA for Spanish speakers. CDC’s Tips campaign Web site (Tips From Former Smokers(/tobacco/campaign/tips/index.html) or Consejos de exfumadores (/tobacco/campaign/tips/spanish/index.html)for Spanish speakers) can also be used as a resource for patients. In addition to information about the real people featured in the Tips From Former Smokers ads, the Tips web site includes information about quitting(/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/quitting-resources.html) and a guide to help patients plan for a quit attempt(/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/guide/index.html).