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June 2, 1999

Adding Behavioral Therapy to Medication for Smoking Cessation

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999

JAMA. 1999;281(21):1983-1985. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-21-jbk0602

To the Editor: The review of the current pharmacotherapy of tobacco smoking cessation by Dr Hughes and colleagues1 emphasizes that NRT and bupropion are more effective than a placebo. As expected, the 6-month quit rates using nicotine gum and patch in special tobacco cessation clinics (Table 2 in Hughes et al) are better than those with nicotine gum and patch but minimal contact with health care personnel (Table 1 in Hughes et al). Why is nicotine replacement, even with health care professional support, so minimally effective? Even with the best behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy now available, only 1 of 3 tobacco smokers who desire to quit is able to do so at the end of 6 months.1

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