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Physicians lack smoking cessation training
Date:10/27/2008

rcent of nonprescribers received less than 5 hours of tobacco-dependence training. In addition, only 6 percent of prescribers and 5 percent of nonprescribers knew the AHRQ treatment guidelines for tobacco dependence.

"Without appropriate training in tobacco dependence treatment, health-care providers may lack the knowledge and confidence to help their patients quit smoking," said Ms. Reichert. "Furthermore, providers may not recognize that tobacco dependence is a chronic relapsing condition and become frustrated when patients do not quit when advised to do so." Research indicates that approximately 70 percent of smokers report a desire to quit but believe it will be too difficult without assistance. Research also indicates that smokers are 30 percent more likely to quit with assistance from their health-care provider.

In relation to cessation pharmacotherapy, 16 percent of prescribers and 8 percent of nonprescribers knew which FDA-approved medications were over-the-counter and which required a prescription. The majority of prescribers and nonprescribers also failed to recognize select contraindications and changes to medication dosages in patients undergoing smoking cessation. In addition, only 1 percent of prescribers and 3 percent of nonprescribers correctly identified the signs of nicotine withdrawal.

"If clinicians are unaware of the contraindications related to cessation medications, this could lead to adverse reactions for the patient and, consequently, a failure to quit," said study author Patricia Folan, RN, acting director of the North Shore-LIJ's Center for Tobacco Control. "In addition, if clinicians are unaware of withdrawal symptoms, they may not encourage their patients to use the cessation medications. Without the cessation medications, patients experience the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms and are less likely to sustain their quit attempt."

"Patients who are advised to quit smoking, but who are not given the
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Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
jstawarz@chestnet.org
847-498-8306
American College of Chest Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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