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"Not Lighting Up": A Case Study of a Woman Who Quit Smoking

Ellen Giarelli
Nancy Ledbetter
Suzanne Mahon
Diane McElwain
ONF 2004, 31(3), E54-E63 DOI: 10.1188/04.ONF.E54-E63

Purpose/Objectives: To review the prevalence, incidence, and risks of smoking by American women; to outline services, treatments, and educational options for smoking prevention and cessation; and to present the conceptual link between the epidemiologic and research literature and experiences of one individual in the target population—an adult female former smoker with a 30-year habit who began smoking during her teenage years.

Data Sources: Published literature, expert opinion, and an interview with a former smoker—a female healthcare professional who had a 30-year habit.

Data Synthesis: Literature was reviewed and the content was evaluated for relevance, accuracy, and timeliness. The relevant content was augmented with the author's practical experience and applied to the case study to make recommendations.

Conclusions: Oncology nurses may use a number of strategies to assist people to never start or to stop using tobacco products. The most effective strategy begins with collaboration between healthcare professionals and patients and a combination of instruction, counseling, and emotional support. Oncology nurses can participate in grassroots efforts to educate the public about addiction related to tobacco use, provide counseling for patients who smoke, and become actively involved in legislative solutions to the problem of tobacco use.

Implications for Nursing: Oncology nurses may intervene to affect positive behavioral change and participate in grassroots efforts to educate the public. Substantial resources are available to professionals and patients who wish to quit smoking or prevent tobacco use by friends and relatives. Nurses should take every opportunity to support smoking cessation and tobacco use prevention.

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