This book, Those Who Continue to Smoke: Is
Achieving Abstinence Harder and Do We Need to Change Our Interventions?, raise important questions about what it will take to build on the successes of the last century and, in particular, on the last few decades of research and practice. While efforts to promote tobacco cessation need to be part of a much broader national tobacco control strategy that emphasizes prevention,
it is clear that the greatest gains in reducing tobacco-caused morbidity, mortality, and health care costs in the next 30 to 40 years will come from helping addicted smokers quit (Orleans 1997). Further declines in adult smoking are likely to strengthen prevention efforts as well, since adult smoking is a critical determinant of social norms and a vector for youth initiation.
In this context, the findings presented in this book have
important implications for the next generation of research and practice to help addicted smokers quit. Specifically, these papers and the findings they present indicate that helping more smokers quit will require: (1) developing more powerful treatments that can break through the 25% to 30% quit-rate ceiling achieved with our best existing treatments; (2) refining, targeting and tailoring treatments for high-risk populations; (3) greatly improving surveillance of quitting patterns and determinants; (4) developing combined clinical-public health approaches that harness synergies between evidence based clinical treatments, and macrolevel policy and environmental cessation strategies; and (5) improving the use of and demand for treatments that work.
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