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Asking patients about tobacco use and documenting their tobacco use status increases the rate of clinician intervention.

Possible ways to ensure consistent documentation include adding smoking status to the list of vital signs, use of a smoking status sticker on charts or use of computerized reminder systems. Checking tobacco use status may be done by members of the healthcare team other than the physician. A review investigating the use of electronic health records to improve the delivery of smoking cessation treatment found that studies generally showed a positive effect on outcomes, such as documenting smoking status, giving advice to quit, assessing patient interest in quitting and providing assistance to quit, including referral.

Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. May 2008.

Anderson P, Jane-Llopis E. How can we increase the involvement of primary health care in the treatment of tobacco dependence? A meta-analysis. Addiction. 2004; 99: 299-312. logo
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