Nicotine Addiction: Cessation

The process of stopping smoking is often a cyclical one, with the smoker sometimes making multiple attempts to quit and failing before finally being successful. Approximately 70 to 80% of smokers would like to quit smoking, approximately one-third of current smokers attempt to quit each year, and 90% of these unassisted attempts fail. Clinician-based smoking interventions should encourage smokers to try to quit and to use different forms of cessation assistance with each new cessation attempt rather than focusing exclusively on immediate cessation at the time of the first visit.

Physician advice to quit smoking, particularly around an acute illness, is a powerful trigger for cessation attempts, with up to half of patients who are advised to quit making a cessation effort. Other triggers include the cost of cigarettes, media campaigns, and changes in rules to restrict smoking in the workplace.

Nicotine Addiction

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Revision date: July 4, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD