Editorials

Nicotine replacement therapy for a healthier nation

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7168.1266 (Published 07 November 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1266

Nictotine replacement is cost effective and should be prescribable on the NHS

  1. Liam Smeeth (l.smeeth@ucl.ac.uk), General practitioner,
  2. Godfrey Fowler (godfrey.fowler@balliol.ox.ac.uk), Emeritus professor of general practice.
  1. Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, Royal Free Hospital and University College London Medical Schools, London NW3 2PF
  2. Division of Public Health and Primary Care, Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LF

    News p 1271

    The aims of the British government's health policy are to improve the health of the population as a whole and to reduce health inequalities.1 Specific reductions in mortality in four areas (cardiovascular disease, cancer, accidents, and mental health) are set as targets. In the search for specific action to meet these targets helping people to stop smoking would seem to be an obvious candidate.

    The World Health Organisation has identified smoking as the single most important preventable cause of death in Europe.2 Cigarette smoking is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in two of the government's target areas: cardiovascular disease and cancer.1 Evidence continues to accrue of a contributory role for smoking in a range of other diseases, such as fractures of the hip due to reduced bone mineral density. The adverse health effects of smoking are …

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