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Smoking Cessation Worth It Despite Dim Outcomes  

Jump to full article: MedPage Today, 2012-04-22
Author: By John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today

Intro:

Action Points

* Drugs and counseling to help patients stop smoking typically double the odds of success relative to solo cold-turkey attempts, but success rates still seldom exceed 20%.

* Point out that so-called electronic cigarettes may not actually reduce the harm of smoking, are largely unregulated devices, and without evidence of their long-term health effects at present.

NEW ORLEANS -- Drugs and counseling to help patients stop smoking typically double the odds of success relative to solo cold-turkey attempts, but success rates still seldom exceed 20%, a researcher said here.

The bottom-line message: "Keep trying," said Michael K. Ong, MD, PhD, of the University of California Los Angeles, in a presentation at the American College of Physicians' annual meeting.

Existing approaches to smoking cessation will remain the best available for the foreseeable future, Ong suggested, and even though their effectiveness is modest at best, they are better than letting patients fend for themselves.

He noted that clinicians are often reluctant to assist patients with these problems.

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