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Smoking cessation needs high profile

The charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has called on contract negotiators to include smoking cessation interventions as a service that all GPs must provide.

Writing in a report on smoking interventions in the GP contract, ASH chief executive Clive Bates said tobacco dependence was in itself an

illness and should be treated under essential clinical services, which all practices must

provide.

The report recommended GPs offer smokers a brief intervention lasting one to three minutes involving recording smoking status, offering advice, writing a prescription for smoking cessation drugs as required and referring for further support.

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