Researchers from the University of Alberta are helping Canadian smokers butt out with a new textbook designed to give health professionals the right tools to treat tobacco addiction.
Disease Interrupted: Tobacco Reduction and Cessation is written for health professionals to help smokers quit and contains the country's first clinical guidelines on treating tobacco addiction.
Co-editor Charl Els, a psychiatrist, addiction specialist and associate clinical professor in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, says in some parts of the country, health professionals view smoking as a lifestyle choice and are resistant to treating tobacco use as an addiction. That leaves smokers to quit on their own, with far less success.
"Smoking is a bona fide chronic relapsing disease that responds well to treatment, and we have safe and effective treatment available. There's no excuse to not treat," says Els. "Hopefully this books starts to shift attitudes in the right direction."
Disease Interrupted contains input from 50 health professionals from around the world, making it a "who's who of tobacco cessation," says Els, who self-published the book with co-editor Diane Kunyk, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Nursing, and Peter Selby of the University of Toronto.
Health-care professionals are the primary audience, says Kunyk, noting the duty to treat includes family physicians, nurses, dentists and others. According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease worldwide-killing 5.4 million every year.
"Tobacco use is such a prevalent condition-20 per cent of the Canadian population smoke-responsibility for treatment can't be limited to one group," she says.