Semester 2—How to Have a Conversation About Tobacco Use

In January 2013 I attended a seminar entitled, “How to Have a Conversation about Tobacco Use.” I really enjoyed this seminar and I found several of the methods to be very useful. My grandmother died of lung cancer because she smoked a pack per day for most of her life. Tobacco is very dangerous and harmful to the body. I understand how important it is to have those difficult conversations about quitting with others. They talked about several different approaches when talking to someone uses tobacco. Among other approaches, I learned how to use Prochaska’s Stages of Change and Motivational Interviewing to talk to someone about quitting smoking.

A week later I talked to one of my friends who smokes; she told me that she and her husband were going to try to stop smoking. I suggested she utilize the Five A’s (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange follow-up). They both tried holding each other accountable after she and I had that conversation and have successfully quit smoking. I did what they recommended at the seminar. I made it simple, I asked because I care about my friend, and I didn’t judge. They rewarded themselves every 2 weeks and have officially quit smoking. This seminar really taught me the skills to help me in my profession with regard to having difficult conversations with older adults.