Cessation of cigarette smoking is important to promotion of good health. Costs of smoking in terms of illness, expenditures, and loss of productivity are enormous. The most successful strategies are those that combine a structured behavior modification plan with a pharmacologic aid to alleviate nicotine dependence. Primary care physicians have an especially important role in helping patients stop smoking. By helping smokers to quit, physicians can improve the general health of these patients and significantly reduce the healthcare burden on society.
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