Use a respiratory therapist to quit smoking

A respiratory therapist can help quitting smoking
Since July 19, 2018, respiratory therapists can be empowered to prescribe smoking cessation medications. This new activity for respiratory therapists is one of the interventions that these professionals use to assess and promote the cardiorespiratory health of their clients.

Clinique GO™’s respiratory therapists can work with their clients to help them initiate the sometimes difficult process of quitting smoking. In the following, we inform you about this service.


The relevance of the respiratory therapist’s intervention

In the Québec health system, respiratory therapists are the professionals who contribute to cardiorespiratory assessment for diagnostic or therapeutic follow-up purposes. In addition, they are present during general anaesthesia to monitor a patient’s cardiorespiratory functions during the procedure requiring anaesthesia. Respiratory therapists may also be involved in the treatment of conditions that affect cardiorespiratory capacity.


Of course, smoking is the main risk factor for many health problems, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Because of the many addictive substances in tobacco and the withdrawal symptoms caused by smoking cessation, it can be very difficult for a smoker to put this bad habit aside. It often takes several quit attempts for a person to quit smoking completely.


However, it has been proven that when smoking cessation is addressed by a health professional, it encourages the person to initiate a cessation process. A correlation between the duration of the intervention, during which the professional speaks with his client about cessation, and the cessation rate for this person was highlighted. According to data published on the website of the Ordre des inhalothérapeutes du Québec (OPIQ), a minimum intervention of less than 3 minutes by a health professional results in a quit rate of 13.4%, which means that 13.4% of people will actually quit smoking. When the professional’s intervention is complete and lasts more than 10 minutes, the cessation rate increases to 22.1%.


The process of a smoking cessation intervention

To be able to intervene for smoking cessation purposes, a respiratory therapist must first have completed a 2-hour training course, which is offered by the OPIQ. Then, a few steps must be taken to ensure that the professional is fully aware of his client’s situation and can direct him to the right resources.

  1. Cardiorespiratory condition assessment: In order to counsel a client for smoking cessation, the respiratory therapist must have a clear understanding of the client’s situation. It must therefore first conduct an assessment of the cardiorespiratory condition, which includes an assessment of factors such as the patient’s environment, medical history and present, family history, medications and other substances used, allergies and intolerances, etc.
  2. Smoking profile assessment: the professional then seeks to establish the client’s smoking history, as well as to assess his or her nicotine addiction.
  3. Advice to the client: At this stage, the professional knows well the motivation of a person to quit smoking, as well as their profile. He or she can then refer her to appropriate resources, whether it is the prescription of nicotine replacement therapies (patches, chewing gums, inhalers, etc.) or non-nicotinic prescription drugs. The respiratory therapist can also refer the client to external resources that will provide support during the cessation process.
  4. Follow-up: In order to supervise the client, the respiratory therapist monitors the smoking cessation process and can then adjust the therapy and continue to encourage the client to move in the right direction.


As you will have noticed, it is more than appropriate to use a respiratory therapist when you want to quit smoking. This not only provides a clear understanding of the tobacco profile of the individual and highlights the physical and psychological health effects of smoking. In addition, the respiratory therapist is skilled at referring a client to resources that are perfectly adapted to their profile and the withdrawal symptoms they are facing.


For more information on this service or to schedule an appointment with our mobile team of respiratory therapists, we invite you to contact us at maintenant !

Francis-Desjardins Approuvé par Francis Desjardins
Président et physiothérapeute depuis 1994.
Francis Dejardins