Smoking cessation and the cardiovascular specialist: Canadian Cardiovascular Society position paper

Can J Cardiol. 2011 Mar-Apr;27(2):132-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2010.12.060.


Tobacco addiction is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in Canada and is the most significant of the modifiable cardiovascular risk factors. Tobacco addiction is a principal contributor to the development of coronary artery disease (CAD) and its consequences, including sudden cardiac death, acute myocardial infarction, and heart failure. Its prevention and treatment should be accorded high priority. In fact, 30% of all CAD deaths are attributable to smoking. The identification and documentation of the smoking status of all patients, and the provision of cessation assistance, should be a priority in every cardiovascular setting. Systematic approaches to the identification and treatment of smokers can dramatically enhance the likelihood of cessation-the most cost-effective of all the interventions to prevent the development or progression of CAD. It is the view of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society that all patients in every medical setting-private office, outpatient clinic, or hospital-should have their smoking status systematically identified and documented and be offered specific assistance in initiating a cessation attempt. The provision of unambiguous, nonjudgemental advice regarding the importance of cessation and assistance with the initiation of a smoking cessation attempt should be seen as a fundamental responsibility of any cardiovascular clinician who encounters smokers in any setting. All cardiovascular specialists should be familiar with the principles and practice of smoking cessation. It is important for cardiovascular specialists to be as familiar with the initiation of smoking-cessation pharmacotherapy as they are with the pharmacological management of hypertension and hyperlipidemia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Morbidity / trends
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Cessation*