Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan

Explore our Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan Template, designed to assist in quitting smoking with assessment, planning, and care steps for individual needs.

By Emma Hainsworth on Jul 15, 2024.


Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is a Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan?

A Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan is a comprehensive guide used by healthcare professionals, particularly nurses, to support patients in their journey to quit smoking. This plan is a crucial component in healthcare settings, in tackling tobacco addiction.

The plan begins with a thorough assessment, where the nurse evaluates the patient's smoking history, level of nicotine dependence, readiness to quit, and any barriers to cessation. This assessment also includes identifying triggers that lead to smoking and understanding the patient's previous attempts to quit. The nurse might use standardized tools for this evaluation, such as questionnaires or scales, to determine the severity of the addiction and the patient's motivation level.

Once the assessment is complete, the nurse moves to the diagnosis phase. This involves identifying nursing diagnoses related to the patient's smoking habit. Examples include "ineffective health maintenance," "readiness for enhanced self-health management," or "ineffective coping." These diagnoses guide the development of the care plan template.

The planning stage involves setting realistic and measurable goals for smoking cessation. This step is collaborative, involving both the nurse and the patient, to ensure that the goals are patient-centered and achievable. The plan may include strategies like setting a quit date, using nicotine replacement therapies, and developing coping mechanisms for cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Implementation is the action phase, where the nurse assists the patient in carrying out the plan. This includes providing resources, education about smoking cessation methods, and ongoing support. Nurses might also coordinate with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors or therapists, for additional support.

The final stage is evaluation, where the nurse assesses the effectiveness of the plan and makes adjustments as needed. This continuous monitoring is crucial to ensure that the patient remains on track and receives the necessary support to overcome the challenges of quitting smoking.

Overall, a Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan is a dynamic and patient-centered approach that combines clinical knowledge with empathetic care to help individuals quit smoking and improve their overall health.

Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan Template

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Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan Example

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How to utilize the Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan?

Our template is designed to provide a comprehensive and individualized approach to smoking cessation, including strategies and interventions tailored to various needs and situations. To maximize the effectiveness of this tool, we've developed a detailed guide on using this specific Printable Nursing Care Plan.

Just follow these comprehensive steps to optimize the smoking cessation plan for your patients:

Step 1: Download the Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan

  • Access the Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan by clicking the link on our page.
  • The plan will open in your default PDF reader, ready for interactive digital use.
  • If you prefer a tactile approach, print out the form for manual completion.

Step 2: Comprehensive patient assessment

  • Document your patient’s medical and smoking history, including duration and quantity of smoking, using the template’s structured format.
  • Document any previous quit attempts, triggers, and patterns to understand the patient's smoking behavior thoroughly.

Step 3: Familiarize yourself with smoking cessation strategies

  • Explore the template’s extensive list of cessation strategies, covering both pharmacological (like Nicotine Replacement Therapy) and non-pharmacological approaches (such as behavioral therapy and support groups).
  • Understand the relevance and application of each strategy to customize the plan according to the patient’s specific needs.

Step 4: Set realistic goals and interventions

  • Utilize the template to set achievable goals for your patient, such as reducing cigarette intake or complete cessation.
  • Select appropriate interventions from the template that align with your patient's goals and preferences.

Step 5: Monitor progress and make adjustments

  • Regularly evaluate the patient’s progress using the template’s guidelines. Adjust the care plan as necessary based on their response to the interventions.
  • Document any changes in smoking habits, health improvements, or challenges faced during the cessation process.

Step 6: Secure and update records

  • Store the completed care plan securely, ensuring confidentiality and easy access for future consultations.
  • Update the plan regularly to reflect the patient’s ongoing journey and adapt strategies as needed.

By following these steps, healthcare providers can effectively utilize the Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan Template to create a personalized, structured, and efficient approach to helping patients quit smoking.

When would you use this plan?

The Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan Template is an essential resource for healthcare practitioners, particularly nurses when dealing with patients who are smokers and showing readiness or interest in quitting. This template is most appropriately used in the following scenarios:

Initial patient assessment:

When a new patient is admitted, their smoking history is part of their lifestyle or medical history. The template helps in systematically evaluating the patient's smoking habits, dependency level, and readiness to quit.

Chronic disease management:

In patients with chronic conditions like heart disease, COPD, or diabetes, smoking exacerbates their health issues. Implementing this plan in such cases is critical to providing a holistic approach to their healthcare management.

Post-operative recovery:

For patients recovering from surgery, especially where smoking can hinder the healing process. The plan can be used to encourage and support smoking cessation as part of post-operative care.

Routine health checks and preventative care:

During routine check-ups, especially for patients with a history of smoking or at high risk of smoking-related diseases. The care plan can be introduced as a preventive measure.

Behavioral health interventions:

For patients receiving treatment for mental health issues, smoking might be a coping mechanism. The plan aids in integrating smoking cessation as part of their overall mental health treatment.

Community health programs:

In public health or community settings, where educating and assisting groups in smoking cessation is part of health promotion activities.

The use of the Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan Template is not limited to just treating the physical addiction to nicotine; it also addresses the psychological aspects, making it a comprehensive tool for healthcare providers. Its implementation is a key step in improving patient health outcomes and reducing the risks associated with smoking.

Things to keep in mind

When utilizing the Free Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan Template, it's important to keep several key factors in mind to enhance the effectiveness of the plan:

  • Acknowledge the Difficulty of Quitting: Understand that smoking cessation is a challenging process. Nicotine addiction is a physical and psychological hurdle. Acknowledging this challenge upfront can set realistic expectations for both the healthcare provider and the patient.
  • Prepare for Relapse: Relapse is a common part of the quitting journey. It’s important to discuss this possibility with the patient and incorporate relapse prevention strategies into the care plan. This might include identifying triggers and developing coping strategies.
  • Emphasize the Importance of Social Support: Encourage patients to seek support from friends, family, or support groups. A strong support system can provide motivation and accountability, which are crucial for long-term success.
  • Manage Withdrawal Symptoms: Be prepared to help patients manage withdrawal symptoms, which can range from irritability and anxiety to physical symptoms like headaches and cravings. The care plan should include strategies or medications to alleviate these symptoms.
  • Incorporate Behavioral and Lifestyle Changes: Smoking is often intertwined with daily routines and habits. Assisting patients in modifying these behaviors and developing new, healthier habits is crucial.
  • Tailor the Approach to the Individual: Every individual’s journey to quit smoking is unique. Customize the care plan to fit the specific needs, preferences, and circumstances of each patient.
  • Continual Monitoring and Adjustment: Regular follow-ups and adjustments to the care plan are necessary to respond to the changing needs and challenges faced by the patient.
  • Document and Secure Patient Information: Use the template to document all interactions and store this securely. This helps in maintaining a clear record of the patient’s progress and strategies employed.

Remember, the goal of the Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan is not just to stop smoking but to foster a sustainable, smoke-free lifestyle. The journey may be challenging, but with a comprehensive plan and support, it's achievable.

Research & evidence

Nicotine dependence is a complex issue involving controlled or compulsive use, psychoactive effects, and drug-reinforced behavior, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2002). The allure of nicotine, partly due to its temporary enhancement of functioning through neuro-regulator modifications (Pomerleau et al., 1991), often leads to persistent dependency. Factors such as coping mechanisms, daily cigarette consumption, and positive expectations about smoking significantly contribute to this dependency (Ahijevych & Wewers, 1994).

The Surgeon General's report in 2000 and the Clinical Practice Guideline by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have underscored the risks associated with smoking and the importance of cessation efforts, shaping evidence-based smoking cessation interventions. 

Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plans include multi-faceted, patient-specific strategies that are adaptable to individual needs and readiness to quit. These plans address not only the physical aspects of nicotine addiction but also provide psychological support and behavioral counseling. Such comprehensive care plans, supported by continuous training and education for healthcare providers, are key to improving the success rates of smoking cessation efforts (Clinical Practice Guideline Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence 2008 Update Panel, Liaisons, and Staff, 2008).

These care plans, when including intensive interventions, have shown to be more effective than brief treatments (Alterman &, Mulvaney, 2001). This approach is beneficial for a wide range of tobacco users, including those with varying levels of dependence, further emphasizing the importance of comprehensive, individualized nursing care plans in smoking cessation efforts.


Ahijevych, K., & Wewers, M. E. (1993). Factors associated with nicotine dependence among African American women cigarette smokers. Research in Nursing & Health, 16(4), 283–292.

Alterman, A. I., Gariti, P., & Mulvaney, F. (2001). Short- and long-term smoking cessation for three levels of intensity of behavioral treatment. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 15(3), 261–264.

Clinical Practice Guideline Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence 2008 Update Panel, Liaisons, and Staff (2008). A clinical practice guideline for treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 update. A U.S. Public Health Service report. American journal of preventive medicine, 35(2), 158–176.

Office of Public Health and Science, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2004). The health consequences of smoking: A report of the Surgeon General.

Pomerleau, O. F., Collins, A. C., Shiffman, S., & Pomerleau, C. S. (1993). Why some people smoke and others do not: New perspectives. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61(5), 723–731.

Rice, V. H., Heath, L., Livingstone-Banks, J., & Hartmann-Boyce, J. (2017). Nursing interventions for smoking cessation. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 12(12), CD001188.

Tobacco Use and Dependence Guideline Panel. (2008). Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. In Intensive Interventions for Tobacco Use and Dependence (Chapter 4). Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from

What is a Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan?
What is a Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan?

Commonly asked questions

What is a Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan?

A Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan is a structured approach used by nurses to help patients quit smoking. It involves a series of steps including assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation, all tailored to the individual patient's needs, behaviors, and circumstances.

Why is a Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan important?

Smoking is a major health risk factor for various diseases. This care plan is essential as it provides a systematic and personalized approach to assist patients in quitting smoking, thus reducing their risk of smoking-related diseases and improving overall health.

‍What does the assessment stage of the plan involve?

During assessment, nurses evaluate the patient's smoking history, level of addiction, triggers for smoking, previous quit attempts, and readiness to quit. This helps in understanding the patient's unique situation and tailoring the plan accordingly.

What kind of support can nurses provide in the implementation stage?

Nurses provide education on smoking cessation methods, recommend nicotine replacement therapies if needed, offer emotional support, and coordinate with other healthcare professionals for a comprehensive care approach. They also help in developing coping strategies for managing withdrawal symptoms.

Is the Smoking Cessation Nursing Care Plan suitable for all smokers?

While the plan is broadly applicable, it is customized to each individual's specific situation. Factors like the level of addiction, personal health, lifestyle, and motivation levels are considered, making the plan suitable for a wide range of smokers seeking to quit.

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