An updated algorithm for choosing among smoking cessation treatments

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2013 Aug;45(2):215-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2013.01.011. Epub 2013 Mar 19.


Although meta-analyses have documented the efficacy of treatments for smoking cessation, and guidelines have outlined treatment elements, few algorithms for choosing among treatments have been described. The current algorithm updates the author's prior algorithm. The major decisions in the algorithm are (a) use a motivational treatment if the smoker is not currently interested in quitting, (b) assess factors that influence choice of treatment, (c) consider both gradual and abrupt cessation, (d) use combined patch+gum/inhaler/lozenge or varenicline as first line medications, (e) use individual, group, Internet, and phone counseling as first line psychosocial treatments, and (f) continue treatment after a lapse or relapse. Further research is needed to determine whether algorithms improve treatment outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Choice Behavior
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Recurrence
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Tobacco Use Cessation Devices
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / rehabilitation*