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Postgrad Med. 2010 Mar;122(2):74-82. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2010.03.2124.

Smoking cessation intervention: an evidence-based approach.

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Facultad de Medicina Tijuana, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California.


Cigarette smoking represents the most important source of preventable morbidity and premature mortality worldwide. Approximately 100 million deaths were caused by tobacco use in the 20th century. There are >1 billion smokers worldwide, and globally the use of tobacco products is increasing, with the epidemic shifting to the developing world. Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition that often requires repeated intervention for success. Just informing a patient about health risks, although necessary, is usually not sufficient for a decision to change. Smokers should be provided with counseling when attempting to quit. Pharmacologic smoking cessation aids are recommended for all smokers who are trying to quit, unless contraindicated. Evidence-based guidelines recommend nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion SR, and varenicline as effective alternatives for smoking cessation therapy, especially when combined with behavioral interventions. Combination pharmacotherapy is indicated for highly nicotine-dependent smokers, patients who have failed with monotherapy, and patients with breakthrough cravings. An additional form of nicotine replacement therapy or an addition of a non-nicotine replacement therapy oral medication (bupropion or varenicline) may be helpful. The rate of successful smoking cessation at 1 year is 3% to 5% when the patient simply tries to stop, 7% to 16% if the smoker undergoes behavioral intervention, and up to 24% when receiving pharmacological treatment and behavioral support.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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