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AAPA Endorses 2008 Public Health Service Guidelines for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence
Date:5/7/2008

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), representing nearly 70,000 physician assistants (PAs) practicing in the U.S., is pleased to join other national organizations in endorsing the Public Health Service-sponsored guidelines on Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update.

"The updated tobacco cessation guidelines provide even stronger evidence to support the efforts of physician assistants and other health care professionals in treating tobacco use and dependence," said AAPA President Gregor F. Bennett, M.A., PA-C.

"AAPA encourages PAs in all specialties and all patient care settings to provide effective tobacco cessation interventions to patients," Bennett added. "The new tobacco guidelines are appropriately focused on primary care in the ambulatory setting, but they also identify specific patient populations that would benefit from counseling and medication treatment in all specialties and all settings."

AAPA recognizes that many patient care visits to health care providers occur outside of primary care practices in locations such as emergency departments, specialty clinics, ambulatory surgical centers, and hospitals. Tobacco users who receive most or all of their health care outside the primary care setting may benefit the most from tobacco cessation intervention.

Current research also indicates that tobacco cessation not only prevents serious disease, but aids in the treatment of patients already struggling with such conditions as cancer, HIV infection, diabetes, COPD, and psychiatric disorders. Tobacco cessation decreases healing time and the risk of infection after surgery. Treating pregnant women improves infant birth-weight and reduces the risk of pre-term birth and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

A Physician Assistant Foundation-funded task force on tobacco cessation in 2005 endorsed many of the same interventions recommended by the
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SOURCE American Academy of Physician Assistants
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