Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable death worldwide. Respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer, account for a large proportion of tobacco-related deaths. Smoking cessation benefits almost all smokers, irrespective of the age at which they quit, making smoking cessation a core component of prevention and treatment of respiratory diseases. Evidence shows that psychosocial counselling and pharmacotherapy are effective smoking cessation methods and are most effective when used together. The first-line drugs licensed to aid smoking cessation (nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion, and varenicline) are effective in patients with COPD. Efforts are underway to improve the efficacy of existing treatments and increase the proportion of smokers who try to quit, and who use treatment when doing so. However, existing smoking cessation counselling and drugs are among the most cost-effective clinical preventive services available. Incorporation of such treatment into routine clinical practice is essential for provision of high-quality care to all patients, especially those with respiratory disease.
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