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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Tobacco Use Screening and Counseling During Physician Office Visits Among Adults

Thursday, July 12, 2012  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2005–2009!

Jamal A, Dube SR, Malarcher AM, Shaw L, Engstrom MC. MMWR. June 15, 2012;61 (Supplement).
This report summarized data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to examine rates of tobacco use screening, rates of tobacco cessation counseling, and rates of overall cessation success, as well as tobacco medication provision by patient- and physician-related characteristics. The report found that of the three billion office visits during the 2005-2008 time span:

62.7% of patients were screened for tobacco;
17.6% of patients screened were current tobacco users;
20.9% of patients using tobacco received cessation counseling;and
7.6% of patients using tobacco received a prescription or order for a cessation medication.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as amended by the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (referred to collectively as the Affordable Care Act [ACA]) and other national initiatives will increase tobacco cessation treatment coverage, which should help increase the proportion of tobacco users receiving counseling or medications. The report concludes that "tobacco use screening and intervention is one of the most effective clinical prevention services, both in terms of cost and success.”

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