Both Zyban and nicotine replacement therapy should be available on NHS to help smokers quit

November 20, 2000

Smoking cessation guidelines for health professionals: an update

PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately we are unable to post the PDF link to this paper. If you require the full research paper, we can fax it to you. Please telephone or e-mail Emma Wilkinson on +44-20-7383-6529, or Email: ewilkinson@bmj.com

Both the drug Zyban and nicotine replacement therapy should be available on NHS prescription, recommend new guidelines for helping smokers to quit, published in Thorax.

The guidelines are based on the most up to date scientific evidence, and aim to help GPs and other health professionals, involved in helping patients kick the habit, do the job more effectively. There should be no restrictions on any currently available effective treatments to help smokers stop, recommend the authors.

The guidelines urge the provision of at least one or two full time smoking cessation clinics in every health authority. They push for more to be done to encourage pregnant smokers to kick the addiction and recommend national standards for training and provision to ensure minimum standards of delivery. They also advocate that hospitals should become totally smoke free zones, as some other countries have achieved.

GPs, who are at the forefront of the government's campaign to reduce the number of smokers in the UK, should take a more structured approach to tracking the smoking behaviour of their patients. And while they should take the opportunity during routine consultations at least once a year to encourage their patients to kick the addiction, they should not nag them continuously, say the guidelines.
-end-
This paper will be released at 11:00 hours (UK Time), 06:00 (US Eastern Time) on Tuesday 21 November 2000 at a press conference at The Whitechapel Gallery, Whitechapel High Street, London E1.

Contact:

Professor Robert West, Professor of Psychology, St George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, UK
Email: sgjt600@sghms.ac.uk

BMJ Specialty Journals

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