Nicotine replacement therapy and smoking cessation intervention programs are associated with positive outcomes among current smokers, according to two studies in the November 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
“In summary, providing brief NT sampling to smokers who do not want to quit, when used within a behavioral exercise of a PQA, is efficacious to motivate unmotivated smokers toward quitting,” the authors conclude. “Considering the stagnant incidence of quit attempts in the past decade, this novel and easy-to-use cessation induction strategy holds promise for translation to primary care settings.”
“This randomized controlled trial shows that a smoking intervention based on chronic disease management principles of care — targeting the goal of quitting smoking but incorporating failures, setting interim goals and continuing care until the desired outcome is achieved — is approximately 75 percent more effective at accomplishing long-term abstinence than delivery of a discrete episode of care for smoking cessation,” the authors conclude.
And, why is quitting so important?
Compared with current smokers, risk of death was significantly reduced among past smokers within 10 years of quitting. By 20 years after quitting, the risk was further reduced, to the level of never smokers. Although current heavy smokers had the highest risk of death compared with current light and past smokers, the risk of death could be reduced by 44 percent for this group within 10 years of quitting and reach a similar risk as never smokers after more than 20 years.
So, I will beat the drum again: If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, please quit.