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Home > Tobacco Use Cessation Program > Didactic Components > AHRQ Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence

AHRQ Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: A Clinical Practice Guideline

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality guidelines were developed by a panel of tobacco dependence treatment experts. The panel reviewed over 6000 scientific articles that addressed the assessment and treatment of tobacco dependence, nicotine addiction, and clinical practice.

Findings and recommendations for treating tobacco use and dependence:

  • Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition that often requires repeated intervention.
  • Because effective tobacco dependence treatments are available, every patient who uses tobacco should be offered at least one of these treatments.
  • It is essential that clinicians and health care delivery systems (including administrators, insurers, and purchasers) institutionalize the consistent identification, documentation, and treatment of every tobacco user seen in a health care setting.
  • Brief tobacco dependence treatment is effective, and every patient who uses tobacco should be offered at least brief treatment.
  • There is a strong dose-response relation between the intensity of tobacco dependence counseling and its effectiveness.
  • Three types of counseling and behavioral therapies were found to be especially effective and should be used with all patients attempting tobacco cessation:
    • Provision of practical counseling (problem solving/skills training)
    • Provision of social support as part of treatment (intra-treatment social support)
    • Help in securing social support outside of treatment (extra-treatment social support)

  • Numerous effective pharmacotherapies for smoking cessation now exist. Except in the presence of contraindications, these should be used with all patients attempting to quit smoking.
  • Tobacco dependence treatments are both clinically effective and cost-effective relative to other medical and disease prevention interventions.
For more in depth information relevant to the AHRQ Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: A Clinical Practice Guideline, please refer to The U.S. Public Health Service Report
 
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