Approach

For updates on diagnosis and management of coexisting conditions during the pandemic, see our topic 'Management of coexisting conditions in the context of COVID-19'.

Physicians and other healthcare professionals should advise patients to improve their health by stopping smoking. They play a central role in motivating and assisting patients who smoke to quit. [16] Physicians are a credible and trusted source of advice to quit, have opportunities to provide this message to most smokers, and can connect patients to cessation counselling and pharmacotherapy. Brief advice from physicians is effective in promoting smoking cessation.[17] These actions are economical and effective in increasing cessation rates.[18] Every opportunity should be taken to ask patients if they smoke and to advise them to stop. If a patient is reluctant to stop smoking, make sure they understand the risks and encourage them to seek help in the future. Ask them about stopping again at the next opportunity.[19]

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence advises prioritising specific groups who are at high risk of tobacco-related harm for intervention, such as people with mental health problems or people with conditions made worse by smoking, and pregnant women.[19]

BMJ Best Practice is an evidence-based point of care tool for healthcare practitioners.

To continue reading and access all of BMJ Best Practice's pages you'll need to log in or start a free trial.

You can access through your institution if your hospital, university, trust or other institution provides access to BMJ Best Practice through either OpenAthens or Shibboleth.

Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer