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02 Apr 2024

BTS releases practical approach for hospital clinicians to address tobacco dependency

BTS releases practical approach for hospital clinicians to address tobacco dependency

The British Thoracic Society (BTS) released a Clinical Statement on 26 March 2024, aimed at aiding clinicians in addressing tobacco dependence among inpatients. With tobacco dependency remaining the leading preventable cause of death in the UK, the BTS seeks to equip clinicians with evidence-based strategies to identify, initiate treatment, and ensure specialised care for tobacco-dependent patients. 

Key components of the Clinical Statement include: 

  • Screening for tobacco dependence 

  • Advising patients on the role of nicotine 

  • Initiating combination Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) promptly 

  • Completing referrals to on-site tobacco dependency advisors 

  • Providing accurate information on vaping 

  • Offering and prescribing nicotine analogue medications 

Recognising that many hospitalised patients are tobacco-dependent, the BTS emphasises the critical opportunity for clinical teams to intervene effectively. By empowering multidisciplinary hospital staff to deliver comprehensive tobacco dependency interventions, the statement aims to promote long-term health and behavioural change. 

Professor Sanjay Agrawal, co-chair of the Clinical Statement Guideline Group, underscores the importance of treating tobacco dependency as a standard part of care. He highlights the potential of the framework to reduce morbidity, mortality, and financial strain on families affected by tobacco dependence. 

Professor Jon Bennett, President of the British Thoracic Society, stresses the need for all hospital staff to engage in conversations about smoking cessation. He emphasises the importance of recording smoking status and providing effective treatment as integral components of inpatient care. 

The Clinical Statement serves as a valuable resource for healthcare professionals in secondary care, guiding efforts to prioritise and address tobacco dependence effectively. Download the complete Clinical Statement is available for further reference and implementation: Medical Management of inpatients with tobacco dependency

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