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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Invited Commentary: Tobacco Cessation—We Can Do Better.

Thursday, July 9, 2015  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Michael K. Ong, MD, PhD
Invited Commentary: Tobacco Cessation—We Can Do Better. 
JAMA Internal Medicine Published online June 15, 2015
 
Tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of mortality in the United States, despite a decrease in the overall prevalence of cigarette smoking. In this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Siegel et al1 report that cigarette smoking continues to be the attributable cause of death for nearly half of people dying of 12 different cancers and notably 80% of people dying of lung cancer. Recent data also suggest that focusing only on mortality from conditions in which causal relationships have been established underestimates smoking-related mortality because an additional 17% of excess smoking-related mortality is associated with causes not formally established as attributable to smoking.
 
Despite continued promotional efforts by the tobacco industry, the silver lining for cessation efforts is that most smokers want to quit; national surveys consistently reveal that 70% of smokers want to quit and 50% of smokers have had a quit attempt in the past year.8 We need to ensure that we are offering tobacco cessation assistance, whether counseling or medication prescription or referral to a tobacco cessation resource, to every tobacco user every time that user encounters the health care system.

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