Using brief interventions for tobacco users and start further intervention as needed.

Implementing brief interventions could increase the likelihood of someone successfully attempting to quit smoking and extend the period of tobacco abstinence.

These interventions are opportunistic in nature and particularly relevant in primary care and community settings. They typically last between 3 and 10 minutes and should include personalized information tailored to each individual, utilizing previously gathered information from the user, and proposing a change to the patient.

The information provided during the intervention must be accurate and based on updated evidence, delivered in a clear and understandable manner for the person seeking nursing professional assistance. Communication should be empathetic, avoiding blaming the patient.

To develop these brief interventions, we can also rely on the 5 A’s model, which are:

1- Ask: Inquire about the tobacco use of all individuals receiving care.

2- Advise: Encourage cessation if applicable.

3- Assess: Determine the readiness of the smoker for change.

4- Assist: Support the individual in developing a personalized plan to quit smoking.

5- Arrange: Schedule follow-up sessions. The main objective is to encourage tobacco cessation in as many individuals as possible who seek assistance from nursing professionals and to maintain abstinence in those who achieve it.

Brief intervention has solid evidence in our context regarding its ability to improve tobacco consumption, although combining this type of intervention with others such as motivational interviewing yields even better results.

Bibliography: Asociación Profesional de Enfermeras de Ontario (Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, RNAO) (2017). Integrar las intervenciones relacionadas con el consumo de tabaco en la práctica diaria (3a ed.) Toronto, ON: Asociación Profesional de Enfermeras de Ontario (RNAO).

Araujo PJ, Molina Vázquez I, Linares Pérez T, Rodríguez Granado NP, González Pérez F, Álamo López DJ. Evidencias sobre las intervenciones breves en tabaquismo en personas adultas fumadoras en Atención Primaria. RIdEC 2023; 16(2):45-61.

Herramientas para aplicar las intervenciones breves de las 5A y las 5R para tratar el consumo de tabaco a nivel de la atención primaria. Washington, D.C.: Organización Panamericana de la Salud; 2020. Licencia: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.



Preventive intervention level



Primary Care, Hospital, Specialized care, Addiction treatment centers, Community settings



Age range



anamnesis, clinical interview, consumption, Hospital care, motivational interview, Motivational interviewing, patient, primary care, screening

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