Clinic-based intervention program improves smoking cessation rates, study says

oking status and their willingness to quit, to be given literature about quitting, to set a date to quit smoking, and to discuss pharmacotherapy--treatment with drugs--such as nicotine replacement. Increased adherence to the Guideline also led to improved rates of smoking cessation. Test site patients were more likely than control site patients to report abstinence from smoking at the 2-month follow-up interview (16% versus 6% respectively), 6-month follow-up interview (15% versus 10%) and continuous abstinence, defined as abstinence at both the 2- and 6-month follow-ups (11% versus 4%).

"For the 70% of U.S. smokers who visit their physicians at least once a year, exposure to this opportunistic intervention could potentially lead to smoking cessation for approximately 2 million patients annually," the authors write. "To realize these benefits, health care organizations should aim to enhance the impact of brief counseling in primary care settings by providing effective drug and behavioral therapies for properly selected smokers who are committed to quitting."

In an editorial, Robert A. Schnoll, Ph.D., and Paul F. Engstrom, M.D., of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, discuss the need to improve the proportion of patients who receive physician-based treatment for smoking cessation. "[This] study demonstrates that, not only is it feasible to increase adherence to the Guideline among physician-based medical practices but also that such efforts are cost-effective, improve clinical practices by enhancing clinician self-efficacy and role satisfaction and, importantly, reduce patient tobacco use," Schnoll and Engstrom write.


Contact: Sarah L. Zielinski
Journal of the National Cancer Institute

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