Intended for healthcare professionals


Managing smoking cessation

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 16 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:138

Implementing new guidelines in primary care presents a challenge

  1. Tim Coleman, Clinical lecturer in general practice (,
  2. Mayur Lakhani, Lecturer in clinical audit, Eli Lilly Clinical Audit Centre,
  3. Andrew Wilson, Senior lecturer in general practice
  1. Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Leicester, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester LE5 4PW

    Education and debate p 183

    Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of ill health in the United Kingdom, responsible for up to 120000 deaths annually.1 This week's publication of smoking cessation guidelines, both in full2 and in summary form (p 183)3, marks what the NHS can do to fight this epidemic and emphasises that primary healthcare teams are central to this effort. This makes sense: most smokers will be in contact with primary healthcare services throughout their lives, and the potential effect of primary care is large.4

    Much could be done to improve the management of smoking cessation in primary care,5 so the guidelines are welcome, and most of their recommendations are sound. It is particularly important that smokers who are motivated to stop are instructed about the correct use of nicotine replacement therapy …

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