Practice Tools

Practice Tools

Find information helpful in dealing with counseling for tobacco use in the practice setting, including materials from the 2008 Public Health Service Guidelines on treating tobacco use and dependence, tools for multidisciplinary office settings, and information on implementing system-level strategies to address tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure with patients.

Tools and Resources to Address Tobacco Use in Clinical Practice

General Tools and Resources

  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy and Adolescent Patients: Information for Pediatricians
    This document provides information for pediatricians about how to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to support adolescents who are addicted to nicotine from cigarettes, vaping, or other tobacco products

  • Talking to Teens about Tobacco: Clinician Fact Sheet
    Created by the AAP Section on Tobacco Control, this fact sheet provides an easy reference guide to help clinicians utilize the 5As screening and counseling technique with teens.
  • Become A Quitter Infographic
    Created by the AAP Richmond Center, this infographic covers different ways to quit (such as the quitline, texting programs, and nicoti​ne replacement therapy), and can be shared directly with patients and families.

  • Coding and Payment for Tobacco and Secondhand Smoke-Related Counseling
    Information to ensure that you and your office staff are compensated accordingly for time spent discussing tobacco use and/or exposure to secondhand smoke during patient encounters.

  • ENDS Fact Sheet​
    This fact sheet, based on common recommendations from the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American Medical Association, discusses the facts about and harms of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and stresses the use of evidence-based cessation resources for those who want to quit smoking.

  • Hooked on Nicotine Checklist
    The Hooked on Nicotine Checklist (HONC) is a brief instrument that is designed to assess nicotine dependence in adolescents. It was developed by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and is available for public use. The HONC has been adapted for use with both cigarette users and e-cigarette users. 

    To access the vaping/e-cigarette version of the HONC, click here.
    To access the cigarette version of the HONC, click here

  • Modified Verson of the Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire
    The Modified Version of the Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire (mFTQ) is a brief instrument that is designed to assess nicotine dependence in adolescents. It was adapted by researchers at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and is available for public use.

  • E-Cigarette Dependence Scale
    The E-Cigarette Dependence Scale (EDS) is a measure of nicotine dependence that has been adapted for use with adults and adolescents. It was adapted by researchers at Oberlin College and Yale School of Medicine. To access the 4-item version of the EDS for adolescents, click here.

  • Fingertip Formulary
    A tool that provides an easy way to determine formulary drug status for different health plans in your local area. This tool is also available as an app for mobile devices.

  • Helping Patients Quit Infographic
    Get the why, when, and how of helping patients quit in this AAP Richmond Center infographic.

  • Smoking Cessation Leadership Center
    The Smoking Cessation Leadership Center offers tools and resources for clinical teams who want to assist tobacco users in the practice setting.

  • Solving the Puzzle: A Guide to Pediatric Tobacco Control
    This guide, created by the Richmond Center, includes resources for health care clinicians, guidance on working with youth and families, cessation materials, and strategies to keep communities smoke-free on multiple levels.

  • Strengthening Health Systems for Treating Tobacco Dependence in Primary Care
    This training package aims to assist countries in taking one of their first steps towards providing comprehensive tobacco dependence treatment to all tobacco users by integrating brief tobacco interventions (brief advice) into primary care.

  • Working with Specific Populations​
    Links to resources created especially for specific populations. These resources may be helpful for you and your team, and may be helpful for your patients to get additional support.

Resources for Specific Professions\


  • Addressing Tobacco in Dental Settings (AAP Factsheet)
    This factsheet from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Campaign for Dental Health outlines strategies for addressing tobacco in dental settings, and includes information on the ways that tobacco harms oral health. The factsheet also includes a one-page resource that can be distributed to patients and families.


Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update

Sponsored by the US Public Health Service, the 2008 update to the clinical practice guidelines on treating tobacco use and dependence can be helpful to both you as a clinician and your clinical practice team.

Ten Key Recommendations From "Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence"

  1. Tobacco dependence is a chronic disease that often requires repeated intervention and multiple attempts to quit. Effective treatments exist, however, that can significantly increase rates of long-term abstinence.

  2. It is essential that clinicians and health care delivery systems consistently identify and document tobacco use status and treat every tobacco user seen in a health care setting.

  3. Tobacco dependence treatments are effective across a broad range of populations. Clinicians should encourage every patient willing to make a quit attempt to use the counseling treatments and medications recommended in the Guideline.

  4. Brief tobacco dependence treatment is effective. Clinicians should offer every patient who uses tobacco at least the brief treatments shown to be effective in the Guideline.

  5. Individual, group, and telephone counseling are effective, and their effectiveness increases with treatment intensity. Two components of counseling are especially effective, and clinicians should use these when counseling patients making a quit attempt:

    • Practical counseling (problem solving/skills training)
    • Social support delivered as part of treatment

  6. Numerous effective medications are available for tobacco dependence, and clinicians should encourage their use by all patients attempting to quit smoking — except when medically contraindicated or with specific populations for which there is insufficient evidence of effectiveness (i.e., pregnant women, smokeless tobacco users, light smokers, and adolescents).

    • Seven first-line medications reliably increase long-term smoking abstinence rates:
      • Bupropion SR
      • Varenicline
      • Nicotine gum
      • Nicotine inhaler
      • Nicotine lozenge
      • Nicotine nasal spray
      • Nicotine patch

    • Clinicians also should consider the use of certain combinations of medications identified as effective in the Guideline.

  7. Counseling and medication are effective when used by themselves for treating tobacco dependence. The combination of counseling and medication, however, is more effective than either alone. Thus, clinicians should encourage all individuals making a quit attempt to use both counseling and medication.

  8. Telephone quitline counseling is effective with diverse populations and has broad reach. Therefore, clinicians and health care delivery systems should both ensure patient access to quitlines and promote quitline use.

  9. If a tobacco user currently is unwilling to make a quit attempt, clinicians should use the motivational treatments shown in the Guideline to be effective in increasing future quit attempts.

  10. Tobacco dependence treatments are both clinically effective and highly cost-effective relative to interventions for other clinical disorders. Providing coverage for these treatments increases quit rates. Insurers and purchasers should ensure that all insurance plans include the counseling and medication identified as effective in the Guideline as covered benefits.

Implementation Strategies for the Clinical Practice

Additional Resources for the Office Setting

Watch a video of AAP Expert Karen Wilson, MD, MPH, FAAP, giving advice to clinicians on how to begin conversations with patients and families about quitting

Cessation Resources
For adults​ - information on how to quit, how to help someone else quit, and keeping homes and cars smoke free

For kids and teens​ - teen- and youth-specific materials including handouts and other resources on tobacco prevention and cessation

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