A Critical Look at Issues Facing Smoking Cessation Practices in Rural Populations
Weeks, Susan Fisher
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Tobacco use causes over 440,000 premature deaths each year in the United States and is the single most preventable cause of death and disease (CDC, 2002). Tobacco use is a risk factor for many types of cancer, heart disease, chronic pulmonary disease, and stroke. Health costs associated with tobacco use have created an economic health burden of more than 50 billion dollars. Although nationally the current cigarette smoking prevalence is 25% for men and 21 % for women, in rural areas adults and adolescents continue to exceed these percentages. As nurse practitioners can play an instrumental role in maintaining the health of rural residents, the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) can be used as a valuable and practical tool to evaluate the patients' readiness for change and help facilitate interventions in assisting patients in rural communities with smoking cessation.