Quitting Smoking Long Term: Treatment Can Double the Likelihood

Updating the AHCPR Clinical Practice Guideline on Smoking Cessation

    • July 1, 2002

From August 1998 to September 2000, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School updated Clinical Practice Guideline on Smoking Cessation (#18), a publication of the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR).

CTRI, coordinator of the project and located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School, reconvened the original Guideline's Smoking Cessation Panel to review and produce the update.

Key Results/Findings

In June 2000, the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) published the updated, 179-page guide,Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, the only current evidence-based set of treatment guidelines available.

Findings include:

  • Effective treatments for tobacco dependence exist that can double or triple the likelihood of long-term cessation.
  • Many cessation treatments are appropriate for primary care settings.
  • A strong dose-response relationship exists between the intensity of tobacco treatment counseling and its effectiveness.
  • Treatments involving person-to-person contact (via individual, group, or telephone counseling) are consistently effective and their effectiveness increases with treatment intensity (e.g., minutes of contact).
  • Five first-line pharmacotherapies for tobacco dependence—nicotine gum, nicotine inhaler, nicotine nasal spray, nicotine patch, and sustained-release bupropin hydrocloride—are effective.

USPHS printed 55,000 copies of the book and has distributed 44,000 copies to date.

Surgeon General David Satcher announced the updated book's publication at a press conference, and several journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) featured articles about it.