The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has released Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Smoking Cessation. The guidelines were presented at the NCCN 20th Annual Conference: Advancing the Standard of Cancer Care.

The guidelines recommend that treatment plans for smokers with cancer should include evidence-based pharmacotherapy, behavior therapy, and close follow-up with retreatment as needed. Combination nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and varenicline are advised as the two most effective pharmacotherapy agents and can be combined as needed. High-intensity behavioral therapy with multiple counseling sessions is encouraged but a minimum of brief counseling is also highly recommended.

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Smoking status should also be documented in patient health records and periodically updated for changes in status, quit attempts made, and interventions utilized. Healthcare providers are encouraged to discuss relapse and provide guidance and support for patients, as it may take multiple quit attempts with the same therapy to achieve long-term cessation.

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