Clinical Review

Smoking Cessation What Should You Recommend?

Fifty years after a landmark report on its perils, smoking remains a major public health problem. Here’s the latest on how best to help patients quit.

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  • The 2008 USPHS guideline: 10 key recommendations
  • USPHS smoking cessation guideline: An evidence summary
  • Medications for smoking cessation: Dosing, advantages, and adverse effects

In its 2014 report, The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress,1the US Surgeon General concluded that, while significant improvements have been made since the publication of its landmark 1964 report, cigarette smoking remains a major public health problem. It is the leading cause of preventable death, increasing the risk for such common causes of mortality as cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, and malignancy. Cigarette smoking is responsible for an estimated 443,000 deaths annually.2

Overall, 42 million US adults and about 3 million middle and high school students smoke, despite the availability of an array of pharmacologic interventions to help them quit.1Half of those who continue to smoke will die from a tobacco-related cause. Stopping before the age of 50 cuts the risk in half, and quitting before age 30 almost completely negates it.3

The most recent comprehensive smoking cessation guideline, sponsored by the US Public Health Service, was published in 2008.4The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation that “clinicians ask all adults about tobacco use and provide tobacco cessation interventions” for those who smoke was issued one year later.5Since then, multiple studies have assessed the merits of the various medications, forms of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and counseling aimed at helping smokers maintain abstinence from tobacco.

This article reviews the guideline and provides family practice providers with an evidence-based update.

Continue for treating tobacco use and dependence >>


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