NYDN: Surgeon general blasts doctors for not helping enough to make smokers quit

Health Lifestyle

The surgeon general has some blistering advice to doctors — kick more butts.

At a Thursday press conference, surgeon general Dr. Jerome Adams riffed about physicians failing to urge smoking patients to quit their unhealthy habit.

“Forty percent of smokers who see a health provider each year aren’t advised by those health providers to quit,” lamented Adams, referencing an alarming new smoking cessation report.

He also pointed out that tobacco smoking was the primary cause of preventable diseases, disabilities — and even deaths — in the U.S., while arguing that quitting smoking is beneficial at any age.

In general, cigarette smoking has been declining in the U.S., reaching all-time low of approximately 14% in 2018, reported CNN.
Despite numerous interventions aimed at compelling smokers to stop once and for all, Adams claimed that “two-thirds of smokers who try to quit don’t use FDA-approved medications and counseling.”

Remedies include counseling, nicotine replacement therapy and the medications bupropion and varenicline.

“Behavior counseling and FDA-approved medications, according to the science compiled in this report, actually double the chance that someone can successfully quit when used in concert,” explained Adams. “What I want people to take away is we know what works.”

The new report also notes that the jury is out when it comes to the health benefits of electronic cigarettes in easing off smoking.

“E-cigarettes are a continually changing and diverse group of products that are used in a variety of ways,” stated Adams. “Therefore, it is difficult to make generalizations about their effectiveness for cessation based on studies of a particular e-cigarette.”