Smoking kills more people than any other avoidable factor in developed countries. Smoking cessation has a substantial positive impact on quantity and quality of life expectancy in all smokers, and smoking cessation interventions are among the most cost effective interventions available in medicine. It is therefore surprising that in many countries, smoking cessation measures are not routinely available or are not widely used to help smokers to quit smoking. Most medical schools do not train doctors properly to treat smoking, and many doctors and other health professionals are still unfamiliar with the basic underlying principles of smoking as an addictive behaviour, and with methods of intervening to help smokers to quit. This book is intended to provide the basic, simple information needed to equip all health professionals to intervene effectively, efficiently, and constructively to help their patients to stop smoking. The book describes how and why people start smoking, why they continue to smoke, and what to do to help them to stop.
We describe methods of ensuring that identifying and treating smoking becomes a routine component of health care, and because the best results are generally achieved by specialist smoking cessation services we describe some of the challenges and difficulties of establishing these facilities. As prevention of smoking in populations is such an important determinant of individual motivation to quit or avoid smoking, the authors summarise the population strategies and political policies that can help drive down the prevalence of smoking. For our managers, this ABC covers the cost-effectiveness of these initiatives. One of the tragedies of modern clinical medicine is that treating smoking is so simple, has so much to offer, and so often is not done. The methods are not difficult. This book explains them.