Practical Counseling and Communication Strategies: Tobacco Cessation

Publication ID Published Volume
9324 January 28, 2013 9


The resources is a teaching module containing one 79-slide set with notes entitled, “Practical Counseling and Communication Strategies: Tobacco Cessation”. This presentation contains three formative learning activities and several video clips demonstrating communication techniques involved in tobacco cessation counseling interventions. It also includes a slide script, Reference list and Instructor's Guide as well as a sample 10-item assessment based on the content of the module.

The content of this module is significant for learners about to enter the clinical setting, or already involved in patient care because they can readily apply the material to a clinical encounter. Health professions students and practitioners are often reticent to discuss tobacco use because they lack the time and skills to do so or are afraid of offending patients. After completion of the module, the student should be better prepared to communicate with patients in a more effective manner when discussing tobacco use and dependence and attempting to encourage a behavior change (tobacco cessation). The module presents evidence –based behavioral and communication strategies and techniques which have been shown to be effective in tobacco counseling. As such, it is anticipated that they may be more likely to engage their tobacco-using patients in education and cessation counseling.


Romito L, Coan L, Christen A. Practical counseling and communication strategies: tobacco cessation. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2013;9:9324.

Educational Objectives

  1. To explain the principles of practical counseling and motivational interviewing as applied in tobacco cessation counseling.
  2. To explain the stages of Health Behavior Change and identify a patient’s current stage of change.
  3. To explain the 5As tobacco dependence intervention and provide examples of patient-practitioner communication for each step of the process.
  4. To demonstrate the communication strategies involved in motivational interviewing, and practical counseling for tobacco cessation.


  • Tobacco Use Cessation, Education, Counseling, Motivational Interviewing, Communication, Building Oral Health Capacity (BOHC) Collection


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  2. Fiore MC, Baker TB. Clinical practice. Treating smokers in the health care setting. N Engl J Med. 2011. Sep 29;365(13):1222-31.
  3. Fiore MC, Jaen CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 update. Rockville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Public Health Service, 2008.
  4. Miller, WR, & Rollnick, S. Ten Things That Motivational Interviewing Is Not. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy. 2009; 37(2): 129-140. doi: 10.1017/S1352465809005128.
  5. Miller WR , Rollnick S., Butler C. Motivational Interviewing in Health Care: Helping Patients Change Behavior (Applications of Motivational Interviewing), 2007. Guilford Press. New York, New York.
  6. Miller WR , Rollnick S. Motivational Interviewing: Preparing people to change addictive behaviors. 1991. Guilford Press. New York, New York.
  7. Prochaska, J.O., DiClemente, C.C. Toward a Comprehensive Model of Change. In W.R. Miller & N. Heather (Eds.), Treating Addictive Behaviors: Processes of Change 1986. pp. 3-27. New York: Plenum Press.

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ISSN 2374-8265