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[Behavioral and cognitive therapy to break the smoking habit. Review of the literature]

Le Foll B, Aubin HJ, Lagrue G . Ann Med Interne (Paris). 2002;153(3 Suppl):1S32-40


Nicotine addiction is a chronic disease characterized by frequent relapse. Pharmacological and psychological factors are involved and must be specifically addressed in addicts under treatment. Physicians are familiar with pharmacological treatment with nicotine replacement therapy and bupropion, but not with psychological approaches such as behavioral and cognitive therapy. Various techniques have been evaluated during smoking cessation trials: aversive therapy, contracts, social support, stimulus control, relaxation, diet and nicotine fading. Such approaches have been completed with cognitive strategies and therapeutic programs often use motivational interviews, skills training and relapse prevention strategies. This article reviews these techniques and presents the results of a recent meta-analysis evaluating their efficacy. These results confirm the efficacy of behavioral and cognitive therapy in smoking cessation.