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Treating tobacco dependence

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Tobacco dependence is a chronic relapsing condition that usually requires repeated interventions, including both medication and counselling, before cessation is achieved. Opportunistic advice, discussion and encouragement are interventions recommended by NICE. Moreover, referral for more intensive treatment may be considered. More intensive interventions include individual behavioural counselling and group behaviour therapy.1 In addition to the aforementioned interventions, pharmacotherapy may be useful. Smoking cessation advisers and health professionals may prescribe nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), varenicline, or bupropion as an aid to help people achieve smoking cessation. Self-help materials, telephone counselling, and quit-lines are useful adjuncts.1 Particular smoking cessation strategies may be employed for women who are pregnant or breast feeding, adolescents, and patients with cardiovascular disease.

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