Treatments to promote cessation

The proportion of ever-smokers who have given up varies greatly by factors such as age, socioeconomic status, and dependence, (54) as well as by country. Only about 1 per cent of Chinese smokers have quit, (55> against nearly 50 per cent of American and United Kingdom ever-smokers. In most instances, smokers who quit do so without any formal help, other than the support of family and friends. But the success rate from a single unaided quit attempt is low, with about 1 per cent remaining abstinent 1 year later.(54) Research into treatment methods to enhance rates of cessation has been very actively pursued over the past two decades and is now bearing fruit in the form of well-validated protocols for both intensive clinic-based approaches and interventions in primary care. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines have been issued in the United States(56) and the United Kingdom^57 emphasizing both the availability of efficacious and cost-effective treatments, and the need for health professionals to incorporate simple interventions into their routine practice of medicine. The recommended approaches have two underlying themes: the value of pharmacological aids to cessation, and the need for a public health model which ensures that cost-effective interventions are delivered to the bulk of the smoking population rather than to the minority who seek specialized help. Table.2 summarizes recommendations on the key elements of effective interventions by non-specialists from the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research Guidelines. (56)

Table 2 Recommendations for smoking interventions

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