The cardiologist and smoking cessation

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Among the modifiable risk factors, smoking contributes strongly to the global epidemics of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. In patients with cardiovascular disease, the benefits of smoking cessation outperform those expected from other preventive strategies such as blood pressure or cholesterol control. In-hospital interventions to assist cardiovascular disease patients with smoking cessation and to provide adequate follow-up are the most cost-effective strategies to improve the survival of the cardiovascular patient.

Recent findings

Data on cardiologists' interest in increasing smoking cessation rates are limited and alarming. Surveys assessing the knowledge, interest and attitudes of cardiologists regarding smoking cessation assistance highlight poor commitment to this important preventive practice. For a substantial proportion of cardiologists, smoking-cessation assistance is not included in their core activities and they do not consider themselves as the most appropriate person for this purpose. Disappointingly, many of them never refer their smoking patients to specialized centers and/or teams for appropriate assistance.

Summary

The substantial benefits of smoking cessation in cardiovascular prevention requires stronger commitment from cardiologists to provide smoking-cessation therapies and counseling. Further research is needed to highlight the barriers to improve clinical performance by cardiologists in this field of prevention.

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