28 Jan USPSTF: Recommends Doctors Ask Adults and Pregnant About Tobacco Use
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Michael Silverstein M.D., M.P.H
Professor of Pediatrics
Director of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics
Vice Chair of Research, Department of Pediatrics
Boston University School of Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States and quitting is one of the best things people can do for their health. Additionally, smoking during pregnancy can cause serious harms to both the pregnant person and the baby.
The Task Force continues to recommend that clinicians ask all adults and pregnant people about their tobacco use, advise those who use tobacco to quit, and connect them to proven, safe methods to help them quit.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Smoking leads to nearly half a million deaths in the United States per year, and evidence shows that there are tested and proven methods to help people quit.
Examples of tested and proven methods to help people quit include a variety of behavioral counseling interventions – such as physician and nurse advice, individual and group counseling, and phone interventions – and for adults who are not pregnant, FDA-approved medications. Combinations of behavioral interventions and medication may be more effective than one method alone.
By asking all adults about their tobacco use, clinicians can help connect them to the intervention methods that will best fit their patient’s needs.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: The Task Force is calling for additional research on the benefits and harms of using e-cigarettes to help people stop smoking. Clinicians should offer other proven, safe methods to help their patients quit smoking.
Additional research is also needed on whether some pregnant people may need more than behavioral counseling interventions – such as medication options – or a different approach, to help them quit smoking, improve their health, and support healthy pregnancies.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: For adults who use tobacco, the best thing they can do for their health is to seek interventions that will help them quit, and clinicians can help connect their patients to the method that is right for them.
The Task Force has a separate recommendation on prevention of tobacco use and smoking cessation for children and teens younger than age 18.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Interventions for Tobacco Smoking Cessation in Adults, Including Pregnant Persons: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2021;325(3):265–279. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.25019
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