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Smoking cessation is the only therapeutic intervention that can prevent COPD smokers from the chronic progression of their disorder. The most important intervention for helping these smokers to quit is a combination of counseling plus pharmacological treatment. The characteristics of the counseling should be different depending if this intervention is offered to smokers with a previous diagnosis of COPD or if the intervention is offered to smokers who have been recently diagnoses with COPD. The counseling of patients who have been recently diagnosed should include: a) explanation of the direct relationship between smoking and COPD, b) encouraging these patients to quit and c) using of spirometry and measurements of CO as a motivational tools. The counseling of patients who have been previously diagnosed should include: a) encouragement to make a serious quit attempt, b) an intervention that increases motivation, self-efficacy and self-esteem, c) and the intervention should also control depression and be directed to weight gain control.
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