Intended for healthcare professionals


Smokers can use nicotine replacement products to reduce harm, says NICE

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 04 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3663
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1BMJ

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has signalled a radical shift in the approach to tackling tobacco related harm in England and Wales by recommending the use of licensed products that contain nicotine for patients who don’t think that they would be able to stop smoking in one step.

Previous advice to doctors and other health professionals has focused on encouraging patients to quit in one step by setting specific dates to stop smoking completely.

But NICE said that its new public health guidance was the first in the world to recommend licensed products such as nicotine gum or patches for helping people—particularly those who are “highly dependent” on nicotine—to cut the amount they smoke.1

It advises doctors to consider suggesting the “harm reduction approach” to people who may not be able to stop smoking in …

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