Tobacco smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.(1) It is also an independent risk factor for heart disease, lung cancer, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances of abuse due to its ability to cause dependence, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.(2) Also, it is relatively easy for adults to access compared to other habit-forming street drugs and prescription pharmaceuticals. Consequently, the use of tobacco products has become pervasive throughout America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in their Sept. 9, 2011 “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” that “In 2010, 19.3 percent of U.S. adults were current cigarette smokers.”(3) Therefore, the Student Academy of AAPA would like to take action to help reduce this number.
Many people have tried numerous ways to quit smoking with varying degrees of success. According to the 2008 “Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence Guideline,” the concurrent use of counseling and medications is a very effective method to treat tobacco dependence.(4) Information about smoking cessation programs can be found at many of the community clinics and local hospitals. Also, one can find valuable help through various telephone counseling hotlines and web-based smoking cessation programs.
Currently, the medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat nicotine dependence are bupropion, varenicline and various forms of nicotine replacement therapy.(5) In addition, nortriptyline and clonidine are sometimes used as a second line agent to treat nicotine addiction.(2) These medications, along with the advancements in counseling strategies, have made tobacco cessation an easier task for many of today's patients. In the end, our goal is to enable those who have the desire to quit smoking to find the resources that they need to succeed.
For additional information visit:
American Lung Association
National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality - Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality - You Can Quit Smoking
Making smoking history
1. Danaei G, Ding EL, Mozaffarian D, Taylor B, Rehm J, Murray CJ, Ezzati M., The preventable causes of death in the United States: comparative risk assessment of dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors., PLoS Med. 2009 Apr 28;6(4):e1000058. Epub 2009 Apr 28.
2. Jiloha RC., Biological basis of tobacco addiction: Implications for smoking-cessation treatment., Indian J Psychiatry. 2010 Oct; 52(4): 301-7.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Vital Signs: Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years --- United States, 2005—2010, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Sept. 9, 2011;60(35):1207-1212.
4. Fiore MC, Bailey WC, Cohen SJ, Dorfman SF, Goldstein MG, Gritz ER, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update—Clinical Practice Guidelines . Rockville (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2008
5. FDA, US Food and Drug Administration, FDA 101: Smoking Cessation Products,
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm198176.htm, Date Posted: January 26, 2010.