Doctors told to treat nicotine addiction as a disease
- By: Zosia Kmietowicz
Smoking should be treated as a form of drug addiction, with smoking cessation services and interventions such as nicotine replacement therapy available to all smokers on the NHS, according to a report published by the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians.
The report calls for a major shift in attitude towards smoking. Doctors, other health professionals, and society “need to acknowledge nicotine addiction as a major medical and social problem” akin to addiction to certain hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.
Most smokers do not smoke out of choice, claims the report, but because they are addicted to nicotine. “We would like to see health professionals and the public accept smoking as a disorder that needs to be treated just like any other disease,” commented Professor John Britton, chairman of the report and professor of respiratory medicine at the University of Nottingham. “At the moment smoking