108. Treatment Recommendations: Counseling (Continued)

Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update

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Common elements of practical counseling (problem-solving/skills training)

Practical counseling (problem solving/ skills training) treatment component Examples
Recognize danger situations—Identify events, internal states, or activities that increase the risk of smoking or relapse.
  • Negative affect and stress.
  • Being around other tobacco users.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Experiencing urges.
  • Smoking cues and availability of cigarettes.
Develop coping skills—Identify and practice coping or problem-solving skills. Typically, these skills are intended to cope with danger situations.
  • Learning to anticipate and avoid temptation and trigger situations.
  • Learning cognitive strategies that will reduce negative moods.
  • Accomplishing lifestyle changes that reduce stress, improve quality of life, and reduce exposure to smoking cues.
  • Learning cognitive and behavioral activities to cope with smoking urges (e.g., distracting attention; changing routines).
Provide basic information—provide basic information about smoking and successful quitting.
  • The fact that any smoking (even a single puff) increases the likelihood of a full relapse.
  • Withdrawal symptoms typically peak within 1-2 weeks after quitting but may persist for months. These symptoms include negative mood, urges to smoke, and difficulty concentrating.
  • The addictive nature of smoking.

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Page last reviewed October 2014
Page originally created September 2012
Internet Citation: 108. Treatment Recommendations: Counseling (Continued). Content last reviewed October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/clinicians-providers/guidelines-recommendations/tobacco/clinicians/presentations/2008update-full/slide108.html