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Revista Portuguesa de Pneumologia

versão impressa ISSN 0873-2159


AGUIAR, M et al. Four years’ follow up at a smoking cessation clinic. Rev Port Pneumol [online]. 2009, vol.15, n.2, pp.179-197. ISSN 0873-2159.

Smoking is an important cause of pulmonary pathology and this addiction can be regarded as a chronic, recurrent disease. The benefits of smoking cessation are unquestionable and all physicians should become more active and assertive in recommending it. Aim: To characterise the population seeking medical support for smoking cessation and understand why some successfully stop smoking and others do not. Material and methods: Retrospective analysis of medical records of outpatients in follow-up between January 2003 and June 2006. Age, gender, age at smoking initiation, smoking burden (number of pack-years), associated diseases, degree of dependence (Fagerström test for nicotine addiction), prior attempts at and motivation for smoking cessation, need for cognitive/behavioural support and success and abandonment rates were evaluated. Results: Five hundred and twenty six patients were studied, 50% male with an average age of 45.5±11.4 years. Almost half (43.1 %; n=227) of the patients started smoking before the age of 15. Average smoking burden was 35.8±20 pack-years although 21.4% (n=113) smoked more than 50 pack-years. Respiratory disease was present in 52.1% (COPD, 39.9% and others, 12.2%) and cardiovascular disease in 14.6% of the patients. In 46% of patients (n=242) a relevant psychiatric disorder was identified; depression (21.4%), anxiety disorder (19.4%), other dependencies (2.1%) bipolar disorder (1.5%) and schizophrenia (0.6%). The evaluation of degree of addiction revealed maximum level in 69.7% of the patients (n=380). Many patients (72.2%; n=380) reported prior attempts to quit smoking. The strongest reasons for giving up smoking were concern over health (83.5%), financial issues (8.2%) and search for better quality of life (5.7%). Most patients (81.7%; n=430) had undergone nicotine replacement therapy; skin patches (53.3%), chewing gum (1.1%) or both (45.6%). Psychopharmacological treatment included administration of sedative-hypnotics (86.5%), bupropion hydrochloride (2.3%) and antidepressants (0.6%). Se venty six patients (14%) benefited from cognitive/behavioural support. Two hundred and twenty three patients (42.4%) were successful in giving up smoking while 219 (41.6%) abandoned follow up, the majority after the first appointment. Most patients that abandoned follow up reported lack of motivation and the price of therapy. Conclusions: The population under study had a high rate of psychiatric disorders and a high level of dependence and lack of motivation that might justify the drop-out rate. Successful treatment was associated with close follow up, behavioural support and pharmacological therapy.

Palavras-chave : Smoking cessation; outpatient smokers.

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