Smoking cessation services: use them or lose them

Britton, J.
July 2004
Thorax;Jul2004, Vol. 59 Issue 7, p548
Academic Journal
Of the 1,20 000 people who die from smoking each year in Great Britain, more than half die from a respiratory disease. In 1997 deaths from lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pneumonia caused by smoking totalled over 63 000, all of which were potentially avoidable. The National Health Service (NHS) approach to smoking cessation in Great Britain, has changed radically in the past 5 years. Although the effectiveness of behavioural support and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for smoking cessation had been recognised for many years, it is only since the publication of the government White Paper "Smoking Kills" in 1998, that these treatments, and subsequently bupropion therapy, have been made routinely available to smokers through the NHS of Great Britain. It has been argued for some time now that smoking status should be considered a vital sign-as routine a component of any medical consultation as measuring the pulse or blood pressure.


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