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Doctors Should Offer to Help All Smokers to Quit, Study Suggests


Doctors are more effective in promoting smoking cessation by offering help to all smokers, rather than simply advising smokers to quit and only offering assistance to those who express interest in doing so, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom reviewed 13 studies, and found that while some smokers tried to quit after being advised to by their doctor, they were more successful if their doctor provided help in the form of counseling or nicotine replacement therapy.

Reuters reports that three of the studies suggest providing this extra help could allow an additional 40 to 60 percent of smokers to at least try quitting. According to the article, official guidelines in the United States and the United Kingdom advise doctors to first determine patients’ willingness to quit before offering assistance.

Lead researcher Dr. Paul Aveyard told Reuters doctors may not offer assistance with smoking cessation for several reasons. They may not want to preach to their patients, and they may think they don’t have enough time to counsel smokers about quitting.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 68.8 percent of current smokers want to completely stop smoking, 52.4 percent of smokers had made an attempt to quit in the past year, but only 6.2 percent of smokers had successfully quit within the past year.

The study is published in the journal Addiction.

5 Responses to this article

  1. Carol / January 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Doctors should not be forced to ram the anti-smoker agenda down peoples’ throats. And any doctor who believes in the Surgeon General’s malicious fraud is stupid, so people should get a different doctor.

  2. Dwayne / January 13, 2012 at 8:58 am

    ban tobacco and people will stop all tobacco dose is kill people anyway

  3. Joshua / January 13, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    even a cursory consideration of prohibition and addictive substances, or the history of tobacco prohibition itself will lead you to the conclusion that the statement “ban tobacco and people will stop” is categorically wrong.

  4. Avatar of triptyx
    triptyx / January 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Right, because banning alcohol stopped all drinking in the 20′s, and banning recreational drugs has stopped people from getting high.

    The answer is to butt out of people’s lives and ensure that they are responsible for their own actions (which includes ensuring they personally pay for any diseases or conditions brought about by their own actions).

  5. Carol / January 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    That means the so-called “Healthy People” should pay their own way at last, instead of being privileged with government subsidies (and government lie campaigns). At age 20, smokers’ lifetime costs will total 220k Euros, obese peoples’ costs will total 250k Euros, and the “Healthy Living” will cost 281k Euros. [Approximately $303k, $344k, and $387k U.S.]

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