Evidence Based Resources

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the majority of cigarette smokers would like to stop smoking, and each year about half will attempt to do so. Sadly, only about six percent are successful in a given year.

Research has shown that healthcare providers who intervene with smokers can have a positive impact on their cigarette-smoking behavior. Even brief advice and interaction with a physician – as short as three minutes – can make it much more likely that a patient will attempt to quit – and ultimately succeed!

Even so, providers may hesitate to initiate these discussions because of a seemingly low success rate with smokers. Moreover, some conversations may feel uncomfortable.    

Research and guidelines can help healthcare providers become more conversant and confident when facilitating smoking cessation discussions. To this end, we offer the following authoritative references:       

Resources for Practices

EvidenceNOW PCOR Smoking Cessation Fact Sheet
This EvidenceNOW fact sheet provides an overview of PCOR findings about the risks of smoking, health benefits of quitting smoking, and the effectiveness of behavioral counseling and medications to assist patients in smoking cessation. 

Smoking Cessation in Primary Care This facts-at-a-glance handout for clinicians summarizes evidence, risks, benefits, and recommendations for counseling patients and choosing a treatment plan for smoking cessation. 

Smoking Cessation: Tasks for the Practice Facilitator This two-page checklist and associated materials outline working with primary care practices to increase the rate of smoking cessation counseling for patients who smoke. 

New Resources To Help Providers Help Smokers Quit This presentation reviews additional resources, including a protocol and treatment action guide, that health care professionals can use to help patients quit smoking. 

Ready or Not…Addressing Tobacco Use This script and slide deck from a 14-minute presentation cover the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting, and reviews 5 A’s for treating tobacco use (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange), as well as common misconceptions. 

Integrating Tobacco Cessation Into Electronic Health Records These recommendations outline inclusion of a template in electronic health record systems that prompts clinicians to counsel about smoking prevention and cessation when patients present for well-patient exams or with symptoms or conditions associated with smoking. 

Resources for Practices to Use with Patients

Tobacco Use Self-Management Tool 
This fact sheet for patients reviews reasons to manage and/or quit tobacco use as well as steps, tips, and resources for increasing chances of success. 

Dispelling Myths About Nicotine Replacement Therapy 
This fact sheet for patients reviews and refutes common myths about nicotine replacement therapy to assist in smoking cessation. 

Clinical Tools

A Practical Guide to Help Your Patients Quit Using Tobacco [PDF–646 KB] 

The resources below present the most recent evidence and clinical guidelines for treating tobacco use and dependence. You will also find usable tools to guide your practice and help you integrate tobacco treatment into routine clinical care. 

This document provides suggestions and free resources to assist you in supporting your patients in their quit attempts. 

This guide provides simple steps and suggested language that you can use to briefly intervene with patients who use tobacco. 

This guide summarizes the findings from the Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, Clinical Practice Guideline: 2008 Updateexternal icon, including a summary of evidence-based cessation treatments and information for healthcare decision-making. 

Use this pocket card as a quick-reference for the 5As and AA-R approaches to brief clinical tobacco cessation interventions. 

 Read the USPSTF’s most recent recommendations for tobacco smoking cessation interventions for adults, including pregnant women. 

  • Million Hearts® Tools for Clinicians and Health Systems  

The Guide to Community Preventive Services is a free resource to help you choose programs and policies to improve health and prevent disease in your community. It includes systematic reviews of tobacco prevention and control interventions, including for cessation and secondhand smoke exposure

2020 Update: “8 Things Physicians Should Know”

American Medical Association 

The latest on smoking cessation: 8 things physicians should know | American Medical Association (ama-assn.org)

Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the United States, so it’s no surprise that more than two-thirds of U.S. adults who smoke want to quit. Besides, it’s even more important now, during the pandemic, since smoking impairs respiratory function.  What can physicians do to help their patients quit smoking? Read this article.

On-line Training Rx for Change

University of California San Francisco

Rxforchange: Home (ucsf.edu)

Rx for Change, which draws heavily from the Clinical Practice Guideline for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, was developed to train clinicians from a wide range of clinical specialties. Several versions of the program materials are available on-line, including: (1) the 5 A’s (comprehensive counseling), (2) Ask-Advise-Refer (brief counseling), (3) Psychiatry, (4) Cancer Care Providers, (5) Cardiology Providers, (6) Mental Health Peer Counselors, and (7) Surgical Providers.

New York State Smoker’s Quitline


The New York State Smokers’ Quitline (NYSSQL) is a service of the New York State Department of Health Tobacco Control Program and based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, N.Y. It is a free and confidential program providing evidence-based services and Nicotine Replacement Therapy to New York State residents who want to stop vaping, smoking, or using other forms of tobacco. The Quitline offers smokers with trained and caring Quit Coaches to help with a quit plan and free nicotine replacement therapy to those who quality. Patients and clients should contact the Quitline at 866 697-8487.