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Supporting smoking cessation: a guide for health professionals

smoking cessationSmoking still remains the behavioural risk factor responsible for the highest levels of preventable and premature death, despite smoking rates continuing to fall in Australia. Such is the lethal magnitude of smoking that we only have to stop two potential lifelong smokers to save a life. There is no other intervention for a common problem that is so effective.

This updated guide: Supporting smoking cessation: a guide for health professionals 2011, incorporates a number of significant new developments in both the science and practice of cessation support providing health professionals with a valuable resource to help patients keen to stop smoking. GPs and other health professionals now have a greater understanding of the nervous system and nicotine addiction; prescription medications used to treat smoking addiction; and approved use of nicotine replacement therapy.

There is good evidence to suggest that smokers are more likely to successfully quit with the help of their GP or other health professionals, including practice nurses. Spending just a few minutes talking to patients about quitting smoking can lead to behavioural change.

The development of this guide has been supported by an unrestricted educational grant to the RACGP by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Australia. The RACGP has independently created these guidelines and holds editorial rights over them.

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