We have summarized the basic components of a comprehensive model for the treatment of nicotine addiction in a medical setting. It is a labor-intensive program with emphasis on individual assessment and the development of individual treatment programs adaptable to all levels of nicotine dependence. We anticipate that this model will be increasingly used by medical centers in the future. As more traditional programs successfully treat the less severely nicotine-dependent patients, more severely dependent smokers are left in need of more intensive services. We have already begun to see this trend in our practice, requiring more counselor time for individual follow-up and referral into our group therapy programs. Adjunctive pharmacologic therapy is an exciting and promising area, but best results include associated behavioral intervention. Reimbursement remains a major impediment to patient involvement in many of these programs. This impediment will be overcome when third-party payers begin to cover these services as endorsed by the Surgeon General and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
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