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ADVANCE Perspective: Respiratory Views

Chest 2008: Smoking Cessation: The Best and Worst of Times

Published October 30, 2008 5:40 PM by test test
Having a tough time getting your patients to stop smoking? You're not alone, according to a study presented Tuesday at the ACCP conference.

"This is the best of times and the worst of times," study author David P. Sachs, MD, of the Palo Alto Center for Pulmonary Disease Prevention told reporters. "It's the best of times because never have physicians had so many tools to address tobacco dependence."

It's the worst of times because nicotine dependence has reached a 15-year high. Almost 75 of patients seeking tobacco-dependence treatment are highly nicotine dependent.

Sachs' study, which used the Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire to analyze three different cohorts of patients over the last 15 years, reaches no conclusion about why tobacco's grip has become harder to break.  

But Sach's himself has a theory: "The low hanging fruit is gone."

In other words: Clinicians have already helped people with less severe nicotine dependence to successfully quit.

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