Smoking cessation. 3: Needed healthcare policy changes

Behav Med. 1997 Spring;23(1):29-34. doi: 10.1080/08964289709596364.


Smoking is the primary preventable cause of mortality and morbidity in our society, killing more than 430,000 people each year--more than 1,000 a day. Despite this deadly record, the treatment of nicotine dependence has not been integrated into routine medical care. Although professionals from many healthcare fields can be effective providers of smoking cessation treatment, relatively few actually advise patients to quit smoking; and even fewer assist their patients in quitting. Systematic changes in healthcare policies are needed to rectify these problems and improve the provision of smoking cessation services. In this article, the issues of who should be providing cessation treatment, why more providers do not offer this service, and what changes should be made to ensure more widespread inclusion of smoking cessation treatment in future healthcare practice are examined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Health Care Reform*
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Smoking Cessation*