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Stopping smoking cessation treatments too soon may reduce odds of success for 45 percent of smokers
Date:9/1/2010

PORTLAND, Ore. A study led by researchers in the Oregon Health & Science University Smoking Cessation Center may change the way clinicians make treatment decisions for their patients who smoke.

Their findings published online in the journal Addiction suggest that current treatment theories that maintain any smoking after the planned target quit day predicts treatment failure need to be expanded to take into account a more dynamic quitting process. The team's analysis points to two types of successful quitters: those who quit immediately and remain abstinent through the end of treatment and those who are "delayed" in attaining abstinence but achieve success by the end of treatment.

"In 'real-world' clinic settings, health care providers must decide whether or not to continue a specific treatment based on their clinical judgment and the published reports in the scientific literature. They can lose confidence that a specific cessation treatment is effective when the patient is unable to quit on the recommended target quit day or if the patient is unable to maintain total abstinence within the early weeks of treatment," said David Gonzales, Ph.D., the study's lead author and a senior clinical investigator in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the OHSU Smoking Cessation Center, OHSU School of Medicine.

"Patients also can become discouraged that a treatment is not working and worry about continuing to pay for treatments they believe do not work. As a result, cessation treatment for some patients may be discontinued before the prescribed treatment period is completed and the patient and/or the treatment considered a failure."

In this study, however, the data show a substantial proportion of smokers who became 'successful quitters' by the end of 12 weeks of treatment smoked in one or more weeks during the first eight weeks and were delayed in achieving a period of continuous abstinence. This was true of successful quit
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Contact: Tamara Hargens-Bradley
hargenst@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

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