Smoking Cessation

The process of discontinuing the practice of inhaling a smoked substance is known as smoking cessation.  Generally used to treat those suffering from tobacco addiction, however, smoking cessation has and can be used to stop the use due to the development of strong physical substance dependence or psychological dependence.

Although smoking cessation can occur without help from health care professionals or the use of medications, the methods that have been found to be most effective include interventions aimed at health care providers and systems.  For example, medications that include nicotine replacement therapy, individual and group counseling as well as web-based and computer programs.  It is well known that quitting smoking can cause side effects such as weight gain, despite this smoking cessation programs are extremely cost-effective due to the positive health benefits.

Studies show that interventions related to health care providers and/or systems are known to improve smoking cessation among those people who visit those providers.  Research as recent as 2008 showed physician advice to quit smoking led to a quit rate of 10.2% as opposed to 7.9% amongst those who did not receive this advice.  Both motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral therapy have been shown to assist in smoking cessation as well, be it individual or group.

  • Over a period of time, health benefits related to smoking cessation include:
  • Blood pressure and heart rate decreased within 20 minutes of quitting
  • Circulation and lung improvement within 3 months
  • Decreases in coughing and shortness of breath within 9 months
  • Risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half after a period of 1 year
  • Risk of coronary heart disease drops to the level of a non-smoker within 15 years
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