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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Will Removal of Black Box Warning get Psychiatrists to Move on Tobacco?

Thursday, February 8, 2018  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Jill Williams
Will Removal of Black Box Warning get Psychiatrists to Move on Tobacco?
The American Journal on Addictions. January 2018. Volume 27, Issue 1: 40–41.
Treating tobacco use disorder should be a major priority for addiction psychiatrists for many reasons. For example, half of all deaths for patients with mental illness are attributable to tobacco and tobacco is the number one cause of death for patients with other substance use disorders. Behavioral health professionals already possess the skills and experience necessary to motivate clients to work towards abstinence from substances of abuse, including tobacco. Indeed, tobacco use can be approached as a co-occurring disorder and treatments can be matched to motivational level. Medications are often necessary because of the high rates of severe tobacco use disorder and the presence of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that emerge within hours of abstinence. Clinical practice guidelines recommend that medications be used in nearly all tobacco users but prescribing rates for these medications remains low and psychiatrists have been slow to adopt recommendations to treat all tobacco users they see.

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