Withdrawal-oriented therapy for smokers

Br J Addict. 1989 Jun;84(6):591-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1989.tb03474.x.


The treatment approach of the Maudsley Hospital Smokers Clinic is described. It stems from the notion that smokers seeking help are dependent on nicotine, and that withdrawal discomfort is a major block to their success in quitting. Accordingly, therapy focuses on helping clients overcome nicotine deprivation. It uses nicotine replacement and a special format of group treatment. Details are given of preparation of clients, use of nicotine chewing gum, use of group-oriented groupwork, use of information about withdrawal, and training in withdrawal-oriented therapy. Data are presented concerning characteristics of the clientele, treatment adherence, and treatment results. A number of controversial issues are addressed, such as the optimal duration of treatment, timing of the quit date, the value of educational input, and the value of individualization of treatment goals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Chewing Gum
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Nicotine / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / therapy*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / therapy*


  • Chewing Gum
  • Nicotine