You may ask yourself—Is it possible for me to help my senior patients quit smoking? After years of addiction and attempts can they really overcome the challenges? The answer is YES! In fact, eliminating harmful tobacco use is essential to chronic care management. There are so many ways to help your patients quit. Yes, smoking cessation can be an uphill battle, but your patients don’t have to fight it alone. Changing deeply engrained behavioral habits and addictions can be more difficult for older patients. However, these patients may be more responsive to reminders of more personal reasons to quit. For example, grandchildren, children, spouse, friends or simply feeling better themselves.
Smokers are at a greater risk for breathing complications, having trouble with healing wounds, heart problems, bone disease, disability, and many other debilitating chronic conditions. These patients are more likely to experience hospitalizations, readmissions, and require more care from family members or skilled nursing.