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Cancer Control. 2000 Jan-Feb;7(1):56-62.

Contemporary smoking cessation.

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Tobacco Research and Intervention Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, Fla. 33612, USA.



Tobacco smoking is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States today. Oncologists are in a unique position to affect the health and economic burdens of smoking by encouraging cessation among their patients who smoke.


The authors describe and review the effectiveness of current smoking cessation interventions as well as strategies that can be used to encourage cessation among patients. Three types of smoking cessation interventions are described: minimal (or self-help) interventions, behavioral interventions, and pharmacotherapy. The effectiveness of combinations of these types of treatments is also discussed.


Oncology professionals can improve their patients' chances for success by implementing various cost-effective and easily executed smoking cessation interventions. Advice from a physician to quit smoking has resulted in long-term quit rates of up to 10.2%, and nicotine transdermal patches, nicotine gum, inhalers, and nasal sprays are also effective.


Oncologists are encouraged to adopt the "4As" treatment protocol recommended by the National Cancer Institute: ask patients about their smoking status, advise them to quit, assist by recommending pharmacotherapy, counseling, and psychosocial self-help materials, and arrange follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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