Health experts urge counseling patients about dangers of second-hand smoke

hildren. Yet more people are affected by second-hand smoke than directly use tobacco: The authors estimate that a broader counseling could apply to 60% to 70% of the U.S. population, whereas about 22% of the population actually smokes.

The 5As of the current counseling guidelines include Ask (whether they use or have used tobacco), Advise (urge patients to avoid all exposure to SHS for themselves and their family members and explain the risks), Assess (see how willing patients are to change behavior to avoid SHS exposure, including whether they can successfully negotiate with the smoker), Assist (help patients make changes if they want role play, invite the patient to bring in the smoker, provide resources) and Arrange Follow-up (provide additional support in future visits, especially because smoking is a chronic relapsing problem).

The authors also discuss psychological research into family dynamics that may help doctors to help patients quit smoking or minimize their SHS exposure.


Contact: Pam Willenz
American Psychological Association

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