Progress in smoking cessation

AMNews:

Smoking cessation success reported

Training nurses and medical assistants who register patients at primary care facilities to use specific, guideline-based methods to encourage smoking cessation increases the likelihood that patients will successfully quit, according to a study published in the April 21 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers tested the effectiveness of guidelines developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in a randomized, controlled trial among 2,163 adult smokers at eight primary care clinics in southern Wisconsin. At the test sites, patients’ smoking status was assessed and free nicotine patches and telephone counseling were offered. Patients at the control sites received only general information about the AHRQ guideline.

Follow-up interviews found that test site patients were more successful in quitting than control site patients.

Nicotine replacement therapy (i.e. the nicotine patch, gum, nasal spray) as well as the medication Wellbutrin/Zyban/Bupropion have been the most rigorously studied. Remember, there is no magic bullet to quitting, but these medications have been shown to reduce cravings to tolerable levels. You may want to discuss these options with your physician.

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