You're likely to start by seeing your primary care doctor. Here's some information to help you get ready, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
To get ready for your appointment:
- Consider your smoking triggers. List the circumstances when you're most likely to reach for a cigarette. In what situations has smoking become a ritual? Are there any situations when you're less likely to smoke?
- List any physical symptoms you've had that may be related to smoking. Include the length of time you've had each one.
- List key personal information. Include any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications you're taking. Include any vitamins, herbs or other supplements, as well as the dosages.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to soak up all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Make a list of questions to ask your doctor. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out.
For nicotine dependence, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Do you think smoking could be causing or worsening my other health problems?
- Is there still time for my health to benefit from quitting smoking?
- What treatment options seem most likely to help in my situation?
- What should I do to start getting ready?
- Can you refer me to a specialist who can help me stop smoking?
Don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Being ready to answer questions your doctor may ask reserves time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Some questions your doctor may ask include:
- How many cigarettes do you smoke each day? How soon after waking do you smoke?
- Have you previously tried to stop smoking? If so, what happened? What worked? What didn't work?
- What is motivating you to stop smoking now?
- Do you have any physical health problems, such as heart disease or diabetes, that you suspect are related to smoking?
- Are there family members or co-workers who smoke with you?
- Do you have any lifestyle limitations related to smoking, such as difficulty playing sports or doing other physical activities?
- Has smoking caused any problems at work or in your relationships?
- Do you have any mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety?
- What are your biggest obstacles to stopping smoking?
- Will your loved ones support your effort to stop smoking?
- How confident are you that you'll be able to stop?