How to Talk to your Service Provider

Are you uncomfortable or anxious talking to your health care provider about your smoking habits? Here are some reasons most people feel at least a little uncomfortable talking to health professionals

  • You feel like your care provider is “too busy to listen”
  • Discussing smoking makes you feel like you are bothering them about problems that are “too small” or “silly”
  • You feel your care provider will be upset or disappointed at you for smoking
  • You are just too embarrassed or shy 

Your anxiety about talking to your health care provider may prevent you from getting the support you need. Your health care provider is there to give you helpful suggestions, referrals to local programs, support and encouragement.

When you start getting anxious about discussing your smoking with your health care provider, remember these facts:

  • Your health care provider is not too busy to listen to your concerns
  • Your health care provider wants to help and has been trained to help
  • Your concerns about smoking are not “too small or “too silly”
  • Your health care provider knows quitting may be difficult and that most people require support to quit

BUT: No matter how prepared you are to talk to your health care provider about smoking, they may still not be open or helpful. Talking about smoking is a two-way street. If you are not getting a helpful response, consider talking to a different health care provider. Many people are available to give you the support and information you need about smoking including: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, social workers, counsellors and more.

Adapted with permission from PREGNETs. Available from: