New smoking cessation guidelines advocate counseling and drugs

The Public Health Service releases an update to smoking cessation guidelines.

New guidelines related to smoking cessation have been released by the U.S. Public Health Service. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update found that there are now seven medications approved for smoking cessation: bupropion SR, nicotine gum, nicotine inhaler, nicotine lozenge, nicotine nasal spray, nicotine patch, and varenicline. The guidelines recommend the use of counseling and pharmacotherapy as the most optimal way to help people quit smoking and contend that insurers should pay for these treatments, since they are very cost effective. A consortium of organizations collaborated to sponsor the 2008 update, ranging from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The 2008 update also includes a consumer guide and a pocket guide for clinicians.

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