Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update
By Nancy Rigotti, MD, for the Partners Tobacco Treatment Task Force
In May 2008 the U.S. Public Health Service released an update of the evidence-based clinical guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. The following is a summary of the Guideline’s major points:
- Tobacco dependence is now recognized as a chronic disease; one that typically requires ongoing assessment, management, and repeated intervention.
- The range of effective tobacco dependence treatments has expanded. Seven first-line drugs, along with a wider array of counseling and support options are now available to help people stop smoking.
- An emphasis on the value of combining treatment strategies:
- Medication and counseling is more effective than either treatment by itself
- Combining different medications also increases treatment efficacy
- Telephone counseling is effective and reaches a variety of populations. It is now available free nationwide: 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
- Smoking cessation counseling is effective for adolescents who smoke.
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