The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1996 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Smoking Cessation- If I Just Get Involved'

William F. Galvin, MSEd, RRT, CPFT Wednesday, November 6, 1996

The smoking cessation effort has made tremendous progress since the release of the 1964 landmark Report of the Surgeon General on the health hazards of smoking. Because of this campaign, an estimated 35 million Americans were nonsmokers in 1985 who would otherwise have been smokers. Projecting this figure to the year 2000, that figure would reflect the postponement of more than 2 million deaths. Additionally, some 40% of the population were smokers at the time of the report, where today that figure has been reduced to approximately 25%. Surely progress has been made, and yet, first and foremost on the minds of many anti-smoking groups and organizations as well as numerous smoking cessation advocates is the obvious fact that smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death and disability in the United States. When one thinks of the profound implications of such a statement, the interminable and ever-elusive issue becomes, how can we rid the American public of this menacing problem?

The purpose of this presentation is threefold: (1) to provide a fairly comprehensive review of smoking cessation interventions, (2) to identify some of the more effective strategies, and (3) to mobilize the respiratory care practitioner into action by discussing the enhanced role they could play in alleviating the smoking problem.

The presenter will attempt to provide an exhaustive list of methodologies, to include; self-help methods, aversive techniques, biofeedback, behavior modification, nicotine replacement therapy, hypnosis, acupuncture, physician/health care professional counseling and advice, etc. Particular emphasis will be placed on some of the more successful and effective strategies. Additionally, the stages of readiness and the consultative process will be addressed.

The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the pivotal role of the respiratory care practitioner with an intention of dispelling the notion that the RCP is a clinician solely responsible for therapeutic and diagnostics issues related to cardiopulmonary disease. The presenter will encourage the RCP to transcend this limited and peripheral perspective and assume a more aggressive role as a clinical expert and valued resource person in the physiologic effects of smoking, an ever-present bedside clinician and educator, a patient advocate, and a potential facilitator and counselor in smoking cessation efforts.

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