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Smoking Undertreated Compared With Diabetes, Asthma, High Blood Pressure: Study

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Smoking is vastly undertreated, compared with other chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure, a new study concludes. Only 4.4 percent of tobacco users were prescribed medication to help them quit smoking from 2005 to 2007, compared with 57.4 percent of people with high blood pressure, 46.2 percent of diabetics and 42.6 percent of people with asthma.

The findings come from a study by researchers at Yale School of Medicine, who analyzed data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Their findings are published in the American Journal of Public Health.

“A compelling argument has been made that tobacco use should be reframed as a chronic disease and treated as other chronic conditions such as diabetes,” lead author Dr. Steven L. Bernstein said in a news release. “Our study suggests that this has not occurred.”

The researchers note that tobacco use is treated at an extremely low rate, even though it is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, according to HealthCanal. They called for greater insurance coverage for smoking cessation products, and improved training for medical students and residents.

2 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Dorothy J. Sawyer
    Dorothy J. Sawyer / July 8, 2013 at 5:44 am

    To smoke is a choice. It’s not a disease same as diabetes, asthma and other diseases that can be aquired. It’s simply up to the person to smoke or not or to quit. Smokers know the hazards it gives to them but majority still tend to ignore the fact.

  2. Joshua / June 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    there are some fundamental differences here that completely explain the rate of medication treatment for smoking.
    smoking is aquired voluntarily. there are no people with diabetes or asthma that signed up voluntarily to get these diseases.
    Smoking is a disease that you need to pay a lot of money to keep. if i could stop having diabetes by simply not buying insulin, i would do it today.
    smoking doesn’t require medication to cure it. anyone can choose to not have smoking by simply not smoking anymore. diabetes requires medication to continue living. i can choose today to stop taking insulin, but the consequence of that choice is death.

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