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Clinical Review

Information for patients: Getting professional help

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 11 December 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1396
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz, freelance medical journalist (
  1. BestTreatments, BMJ Publishing Group, London WC1H 9JR

    Does counselling work?

    Yes. Getting advice, counselling, and support from a doctor, nurse, or trained counsellor can help you quit smoking. Pregnant women who smoke and smokers who are admitted to the hospital are especially likely to benefit from advice and counselling.

    What is counselling?

    Your doctor, nurse, or counsellor may suggest that you quit smoking, explain why, and give you a few tips on how to do it. Or you may take part in group sessions that are part of a stop-smoking programme. There are many different types of counselling. Here are some examples of what counselling can mean:

    • Your doctor tells you about the benefits of quitting and gives you some leaflets with useful …

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