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Editorials |

Tobacco Dependence : A Chronic Disease

Connie L. Kohler, DrPH; William C. Bailey, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Birmingham, AL
 ,  Dr. Kohler is Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior, School of Public Health, and Dr. Bailey is Professor, Lung Health Center, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Correspondence to: Connie L. Kohler, DrPH; 1530 3rd Ave South, Birmingham, AL 352294–0022; e-mail: ckohler@uab.edu



Chest. 2002;121(3):686-687. doi:10.1378/chest.121.3.686
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Asthma is a chronic, possibly life-threatening disease for which effective treatments are continually studied and made available. It is difficult to imagine a chest physician seeing a patient for some other ailment, and knowing that person also has asthma, offering nothing beyond the admonition, “You need to control your asthma.” Yet, as pointed out by Anderson and colleagues in this issue of CHEST (see page 932), tobacco dependence is a chronic disease, can be life-threatening, and is a disease for which effective treatments are continually studied and made available. However, it is not at all difficult to imagine a chest physician seeing a patient, knowing that the person smokes, and offering nothing beyond the admonition, “You need to quit smoking.”

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