Cigarette smoking is the most prevalent modifiable risk factor for increased morbidity and mortality in the world. The WHO estimates that worldwide 1.1 billion people smoke, representing one third of the global population aged 16 years and above. If the present trend continues there will be 1 billion deaths due to tobacco during the 21st century compared to 100 million deaths during the 20th century. A study was conducted to evaluate the comparative role of physician advice and nicotine replacement therapy on smoking cessation.
A total of 150 smokers were enrolled in the study. They were divided into 3 groups of 50 each. One group received physician advice, the other nicotine replacement therapy and the third was given placebo. Fagerstorm score was used to quantify smoking dependence. The patients were followed for 6 months.
Advice alone is as effective as nicotine replacement therapy in smokers who have a Fagerstorm score of 4 to 7. Smokers with a Fagerstorm score of 8 or more require more than advice alone.
Most of the time, physician advice alone goes a long way in making people quit smoking. In patients with high dependence, nicotine replacement therapy should be used alongwith. The progress a patients makes after intervention is directly related to what stage it was in prior to intervention.
Considering the enormous hazards of smoking, every patient coming in contact of the physician should be asked and advised about smoking.
Ashrafjit Chahal, None.