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Editorials |

Smoking: Not for Anyone

Christopher J. Worsnop
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Heidelberg, VIC, Australia
 ,  Dr. Worsnop is affiliated with the Department of Respiratory Medicine, Austin and Repatriation Medical Center.

Correspondence to: Christopher J. Worsnop, MBBS, FCCP, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Bowen Centre, Austin Campus, Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre, Heidelberg, VIC, 3084 Australia; e-mail: christopher.worsnop@armc.org.au



Chest. 2003;123(5):1338-1340. doi:10.1378/chest.123.5.1338
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Extract

There is no question that the harmful effects that are produced by smoking cigarettes continue to be a burden for health systems throughout the world, and for the individuals who succumb to diseases that are caused by smoking.1 Thus, it is imperative that all medical practitioners who are in clinical practice, irrespective of their clinical interest, assess the smoking status of all their patients and, in those patients who are smoking, address the problem of getting them to quit. This is most eloquently stated in the pledge of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), which is taken by new Fellows, “As a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and a leader in the most important struggle faced by chest physicians, the prevention and control of our major health problems of lung cancer, cardiovascular and chronic pulmonary disease, I shall make a special personal effort to control smoking and to eliminate this hazard from my office, clinic, and hospital. I shall ask all of my patients about their smoking habits, and I shall assist the cigarette smoker in stopping smoking. I make this pledge to my patients and to society.”2 Such sentiments also have been expressed in other parts of the world. For example, the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand now has as one of its major goals the achievement of a smoke-free society in both countries. The British Health Education Authority advises that health-care workers should ask about smoking at every opportunity, and advise all smokers to quit.3 The US Agency for Health Care Policy and Research recommends that “it is essential to provide effective cessation intervention for all tobacco users at each clinical visit.”4


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