Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctors told to treat nicotine addiction as a disease

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 12 February 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:397
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    Smoking should be treated as a form of drug addiction, with smoking cessation services and interventions such as nicotine replacement therapy available to all smokers on the NHS, according to a report published by the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians.

    The report calls for a major shift in attitude towards smoking. Doctors, other health professionals, and society “need to acknowledge nicotine addiction as a major medical and social problem” akin to addiction to certain hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.

    Most smokers do not smoke out of choice, claims the report, but because they are addicted to nicotine. “We would like to see health professionals and the public accept smoking as a disorder that needs to be treated just like …

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