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Smokers Counseled by Doctors Will Quit Smoking!

by Hannah Punitha on  May 1, 2008 at 3:51 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Smokers Counseled by Doctors Will Quit Smoking!
Just a few minutes of convincing talk with patients willing to quit smoking, can help doctors encourage them to kick the butt, say researchers.
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The review led by Lindsay Stead, of the University of Oxford in England involved 41 studies of more than 31,000 smokers. It revealed that doctors who take a few minutes to talk with patients about their smoking or maybe passing along a leaflet or a sample of nicotine gum can help them quit successfully.

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"Assuming an unassisted quit rate of 2 to 3 percent, a brief advice intervention can increase quitting by a further 1 to 3 percent," wrote reviewers.

The investigators examined the studies conducted between 1972 and 2007. and pooled data from 17 trials.

They found that a brief advice compared to no advice can significantly increase the quit rate among the group that got some kind of counsel from a physician.

"Cessation interventions are typically highly cost-effective, so even a very small improvement in effect from intensifying the intervention could well be cost-effective," said Stead.

The majority of smokers require not one, but several quit attempts, to stop smoking for good.

Abigail Halperin, a physician-researcher specializing in prevention and treatment of tobacco-related diseases at the University of Washington recommended that if even half of the patients are advised by their doctors to quit smoking a generous estimate would quit.

"This would have a huge impact on public health, since tobacco-related diseases are by far the nation's largest contributor to disability and premature death - not to mention health care costs," she said.

"In the two programs where I work, we assist patients in developing a quit plan, provide practical counseling, and prescribe nicotine replacement therapy or other medication to ameliorate withdrawal symptoms, and are seeing 25- to 35-percent quit rates," she said.

The study appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration.

Source: ANI
SPH /B
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