In this lesson, we will learn to ask about tobacco use in Spanish.

You will hear a brief clinical dialogue where the doctor asks the patient if they smoke, when they quit, for how long they smoked, and how much they smoked per day. After listening to the dialogue, we will review the vocabulary before learning the questions and responses in Spanish. We will also learn to ask if the patient chews or vapes tobacco. 

This is the first in a series of lessons covering substance use disorders, TRASTORNOS POR EL CONSUMO DE DROGAS. We’ll revisit this topic several times throughout the rest of the year.¬†

Reinforce what you learn using the Quizlet Set for this lesson! 

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Gracias a Sandra Chacón de Lapa Verde Spanish School por su ayuda con esta lección. 

Grabé esta lección durante un viaje de imersión a Costa Rica con Common Ground International. 

¬ŅQuieres aprender m√°s con nosotros y apoyar el podcast? ¬°HAZTE MIEMBRO!

Clinical Dialogue in Spanish


Doctora: ¬ŅFuma usted?

Paciente: Ahora no, pero antes sí.

D: ¬ŅCu√°ndo dej√≥ de fumar?

P: Hace dos a√Īos, cuando qued√© embarazada.

D: Excelente. Bien hecho. ¬ŅPor cu√°nto tiempo fum√≥?

P: Casi cinco a√Īos.

D: ¬ŅQu√© cantidad de cigarrillos fumaba por d√≠a?

P: Casi una cajetilla al día.

D: ¬ŅConsume tabaco de otra forma?

P: ¬ŅC√≥mo de otra forma?

D: ¬ŅMastica tabaco? No.¬†




To smoke


To stop smoking

Dejar de fumar

To become pregnant

Quedar embarazada


Well done

Bien hecho

How much?


For how long? For how much time?

¬ŅPor cu√°nto tiempo?


Los cigarrillos

How many?

¬ŅCu√°ntos? ¬ŅCu√°ntas?

How many cigarettes?

¬ŅCu√°ntos cigarrillos?

¬ŅQu√© cantidad de cigarrillos?

A pack (as in a pack of cigarettes)

Una cajetilla


El tabaco

To use tobacco

Consumir tabaco

We use the verb CONSUMIR to express using a drug or substance.

To chew





(Using “Usted”) Do you smoke?

¬ŅFuma usted?

Not now, but I used to.

According to my teachers in Mexico, there it is more common to reverse the word order and ask, ¬ŅUsted fuma?

Ahora no, pero antes sí.

When did you stop smoking?

¬ŅCu√°ndo dej√≥ de fumar?

Two years ago.

Hace dos a√Īos.

Two years ago, when I became pregnant.

Hace dos a√Īos, cuando qued√© embarazada.

Excellent. Well done.

Excelente. Bien hecho.

For how long did you smoke?

¬ŅPor cu√°nto tiempo fum√≥?

¬ŅCu√°nto tiempo fum√≥?

Note how we’ve used the PRETERITE to express discrete and completed actions.

When did you quit smoking?

¬ŅCu√°ndo dej√≥ de fumar?

When I became pregnant

Cuando quedé embarazada

For how long did you smoke?

¬ŅPor cu√°nto tiempo fum√≥?

In each of these examples, the action is discrete, meaning the action was carried out and completed at one defined point in time.

Almost five years

Casi cinco a√Īos

How many cigarettes did you smoke per day?

¬ŅQu√© cantidad de cigarrillos fumaba por d√≠a?
¬ŅCu√°ntos cigarrillos fumaba por d√≠a?

We used the IMPERFECT (fumaba) because we are asking about a REPETITIVE action in the past. 

Almost a pack a day

Casi una cajetilla al día

Per day 

Por día, al día

Do you use tobacco in other ways?

¬ŅConsume tabaco de otra forma?

How else can you use it? (There’s no direct translation for this one.)¬†

¬ŅC√≥mo de otra forma?

Do you chew tobacco?

¬ŅMastica tabaco?

To vape


Do you vape tobacco?

¬ŅVapea tabaco?


Returning to the Dialogue


¬°Gracias por estudiar espa√Īol m√©dico con nosotros!¬†

¡Refuerza lo aprendido utilizando el Quizlet Set para esta lección! 

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