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GPs should offer nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to smokers who refuse to quit in order to help them cut down the amount they smoke, according to new NICE guidance aimed at helping more people kick the habit.

Gps should offer nrt to smokers who refuse to quit
Prof. Paul Aveyard, Nice Guidance Developer, GP and Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford

The NICE guidance emphasises that GPs should still advise patients to stop smoking in one step, but offer those who do not feel ready to quit abruptly - with the exception of pregnant women - help to cut down.

NICE recommends smokers without a quit date are offered the prescription of licensed nicotine products such as patches, gum and spray, as well as behavioural approaches including ‘schedules’ to increase intervals between cigarettes.

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Advisors should reassure people that licensed nicotine-containing products are a safe and effective way of reducing the harm from cigarettes, and that NRT products have been shown in trials to be safe for at least 5 years’ use
- Professor Paul Aveyard, University of Oxford

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