TORONTO, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Doctors advising patients to quit smoking, even just once, helps to double smoking cessation rates, Canadian researchers say.
Drs. Bernard Le Foll and Tony George of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto say they are defining the most effective ways to treat tobacco dependence and highlight the surprisingly significant role the health practitioner plays.
"Even a short intervention -- of three minutes or less -- can increase a person's motivation to quit and can significantly increase abstinence rates," the authors say in a statement. "To initiate as many cessation attempts as possible, practitioners should advise all of their patients who smoke to quit."
Epidemiologic studies have indicated the majority of successful attempts to quit smoking occur without direct medical assistance or without pharmacotherapy, so the use of non-pharmacologic methods such as counseling should be encouraged, especially for people for whom medication use is problematic, the authors add.
The findings are published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.