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New Evidence Provides Clinicians With Better Tools to Help Smokers Quit
Date:5/7/2008

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An updated clinical practice guideline released today by the U.S. Public Health Service has identified new counseling and medication treatments that are effective for helping people quit smoking. In addition, the May 7 issue of JAMA includes a commentary that urges clinicians to use the updated guideline to accelerate progress in reducing the use of tobacco.

Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update was developed by a 24-member, private-sector panel of leading national tobacco treatment experts that reviewed more than 8,700 research articles published between 1975 and 2007. The review found that there are now seven medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration as smoking cessation treatments that dramatically increase the success of quitting. The medications are: bupropion SR, nicotine gum, nicotine inhaler, nicotine lozenge, nicotine nasal spray, nicotine patch, and varenicline.

The 2008 PHS guideline update also found evidence that counseling by itself or especially in conjunction with medication can greatly increase a person's success in quitting. In particular, quitlines were found to be effective and can reach a large number of people; 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a national quitline, is an access number that connects people to their state-based quitline. It also provides broad access to cessation counseling for diverse populations and is easy for clinicians and patients to use.

"Decades after the hazards of smoking first gained national attention, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of illness and death in our society," said Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., Acting Surgeon General. "The good news is that we now have some of the best evidence-based treatments available for tobacco cessation."

AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., added, "Use of tobacco remains discouragingly high among certain populations, such as people with limited educat
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SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
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