Treating tobacco use and dependence in clinical practice

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2006 Apr;7(6):783-92. doi: 10.1517/14656566.7.6.783.


Physicians are in a unique position to advise smokers to quit by the ability to integrate the various aspects of nicotine dependence. This review provides an overview of the intervention strategies for smokers presented in a primary care setting. The strategies that are used for smoking cessation counselling differ according to the patient's readiness to quit. For smokers who do not intend to give up smoking, physicians should inform about tobacco use and the benefits of cessation. For smokers who are dissonant, physicians should use motivational strategies, such as discussing the barriers to successful cessation and their solutions. For smokers who are ready to quit, the physician should show strong support, help set a date to quit, prescribe pharmaceutical therapies for nicotine dependence, such as nicotine replacement therapy (i.e., gum, transdermal patch, nasal spray, mouth inhaler, lozenges, and micro and sublingual tablets) and/or bupropion (an atypical antidepressant thought to work by blocking the neural re-uptake of dopamine and/or noradrenaline), with instructions for use, and suggest behavioural strategies to prevent relapse. The efficacy of all of these pharmacotherapies is comparable, roughly doubling the cessation rates over control conditions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Physician's Role*
  • Smoking / drug therapy
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking / therapy*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / drug therapy
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*