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Medical News & Perspectives
September 15, 2004

Patients Need More Help to Quit Smoking

JAMA. 2004;292(11):1286-1290. doi:10.1001/jama.292.11.1286

It takes only two questions to assess a patient's nicotine dependence: How soon after you wake up do you smoke your first cigarette? How many cigarettes do you smoke per day?

Smoking at least 20 cigarettes a day or within 30 minutes of arising indicates high nicotine dependence.

Smoking at least 10 cigarettes per day or smoking within 60 minutes of arising suggests moderate nicotine dependence, experts say. One exception: teenagers may develop dependence with even lower levels of smoking (Ann Epidemiol. 2002;12:353-362; Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002;156:397-403). New cigarettes flavored with berry, mint, chocolate, and other candy tastes may lure young smokers .