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Helping patients to stop smoking [Educational Series: tobacco and tuberculosis. Serialised guide. Tobacco cessation interventions for tuberculosis patients. Number 5 in the series]

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Cognitive-behavioural strategies can be used for smokers who request assistance in stopping smoking. These strategies are based on social learning theory, which defines smoking cessation as a process of breaking all of the emotional and situational ties that have been established with the act of smoking. To do this, the quitting smoker needs to understand the addiction process as well as conditioned responses to it in dealing with withdrawal symptoms and craving. The health worker can help the quitting smoker by providing techniques to understand what and how smoking reinforces itself, to enhance and maintain motivation to remain abstinent, to encourage using a social support system and to plan the coping techniques that might be used. Both acts (behaviours) and thinking (cognitions) can be powerful tools in persevering to cope with craving and to manage undesirable side-effects of cessation. These include identifying the antecedents (cues to use tobacco) and the consequences of using tobacco to identify critical emotions and situations where coping is most necessary, finding activities to replace the act of lighting a cigarette, mentally preparing for craving and keeping at bay unhelpful thoughts (such as ‘I'll just take one last puff’). Mental preparation is also necessary to understand and to avoid or limit the side effects of cessation.

Keywords: behaviour change; tobacco cessation; tuberculosis case management

Document Type: Invited Paper

Affiliations: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France

Publication date: July 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) is for clinical research and epidemiological studies on lung health, including articles on TB, TB-HIV and respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, asthma, COPD, child lung health and the hazards of tobacco and air pollution. Individuals and institutes can subscribe to the IJTLD online or in print – simply email us at [email protected] for details.

    The IJTLD is dedicated to understanding lung disease and to the dissemination of knowledge leading to better lung health. To allow us to share scientific research as rapidly as possible, the IJTLD is fast-tracking the publication of certain articles as preprints prior to their publication. Read fast-track articles.

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