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Health Agencies Update
February 18, 1998

Helping Smokers Quit

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JAMA. 1998;279(7):494. doi:10.1001/jama.279.7.494-JHA81008-4-1

Noting that research shows that smokers have the best chance of becoming ex-smokers when encouraged by the health professionals who care for them, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) has launched a new Smoking Cessation "Two-Three Initiative," calling on all clinicians to help their patients who smoke to quit by asking 2 questions and offering a 3-minute intervention.

The initiative builds on the agency's smoking cessation clinical practice guideline released last year, which recommends that every medical assessment by clinicians include 2 questions—"Do you smoke?" and "Do you want to quit?"—followed by a 3-minute counseling session recommending smoking cessation treatments proven to work.

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