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Division of Periodontology

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DDS Curriculum

Advanced Education

Tobacco Cessation




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Home > Tobacco Use Cessation Program > Didactic Components > How to Help in Various Stages of Change

How to Help in Various Stages of Change


  • Increase awareness of need to change
  • Give personalized information (benefits of quitting)
  • Encourage thinking about change
  • Offer to help if they do decide to change


  • Motivate and increase confidence
  • Emphasize benefits of change
  • Explore concerns and fears
  • Help resolve ambivalence


  • Help individualize a plan for change
  • Set realistic goals
  • Provide options
  • Provide and have patient seek social support


  • Reaffirm commitment and follow-up
  • Teach behavioral skills
  • Provide educational materials
  • Note benefits
  • Celebrate success and use rewards
  • Continue follow-up


  • Encourage to plan for potential difficulties
  • Use support network


  • Assist in coping and facilitate another attempt
  • Overcome shame and guilt
  • Use relapse as a learning experience
  • Analyze what went wrong
  • Emphasize persistence
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