To the editor:

Personal experience and national research prove that when health care providers talk to patients about quitting smoking, it works.

Whether it’s a family nurse practitioner like myself, a mental health counselor or a physician, people in my line of work are often in the best position to offer advice on how to quit smoking successfully. Research shows that 50% of patients who quit did so after getting advice and support from their health care provider.

Organizations like the North Country Healthy Heart Network are working closely with their health systems partners to promote Talk to Your Patients, a state Department of Health campaign that offers tips and resources to medical professionals. This includes information on the harmful effects of nicotine addiction and cessation medications as well as counseling and resources.

I urge my colleagues to visit and consider using these free resources. To learn about resources in the North Country that can help smokers quit, call the Heart Network at 518-891-5855 or email

We play a critical role in helping patients live a tobacco-free life.

Stephanie Leffler, MS, FNP

Alice Hyde Medical Center

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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