Original Publication
Open Access

Practical Counseling and Communication Strategies: Tobacco Cessation

Published: January 28, 2013 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9324

Included in this publication:

  • BOHC Toolkit.pdf
  • Slide Script.docx
  • Practical Counseling and Communication Strategies -- Tobacco Cessation.pptx

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Tobacco use is a primary cause of preventable morbidity and mortality worldwide. Therefore, it is critical that health care providers address the issue of tobacco use and dependence with their patients. The purpose of this module is to explain and demonstrate the application of communication techniques for patient tobacco cessation counseling. 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.

Educational Objectives

By the end of the module, the learner will be able to:

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

Author Information

  • Laura Romito, DDS, MS: Indiana University School of Dentistry
  • Lorinda Coan: Indiana University School of Dentistry
  • Arden Christen: Indiana University School of Dentistry

None to report.

None to report. 


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Romito L, Coan L, Christen A. Practical counseling and communication strategies: tobacco cessation. MedEdPORTAL. 2013;9:9324. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9324

This publication is co-sponsored by the American Dental Education Association.