Treating Tobacco Dependence in the Romanian Context: Emerging Solutions
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Romanian Primary Care Respiratory Group, Bucharest, Romania
Publication date: 2018-06-13
Corresponding author
Catalina Panaitescu   

Romanian Primary Care Respiratory Group, Bucharest, Romania
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A105

Aim and Objective
Romania has a population of 19.5 million. Smoking rates are 37% men and 16.7% women. According to WHO figures, 77% of all deaths in Romania in 2008 were caused by diseases for which tobacco smoking is the main risk factor.

Methods & Findings
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for smoking cessation to be integrated into primary healthcare globally, as it is the most suitable health system 'environment' for providing advice and support on smoking cessation. This requires that primary care professionals are motivated to provide smoking cessation advice and treatment and have the capacity, capability and opportunity to do so. It also requires that they are able to prescribe pharmacotherapy for nicotine addiction, are knowledgeable about the medications and can support patients with their use of them. However, several studies describe the professional behavior of Romanian family physicians (FPs) toward smokers and highlight the lack of engagement in smoking cessation activities.

Emerging solutions to address this include teaching and developing a sustainable network of primary care teachers, skilled in the management of tobacco dependence. To support these teachers in developing and implementing country based programs and to spread this knowledge in the on-going education of primary healthcare professionals, there can be more done to adapt existing resources on the treatment of tobacco dependence to the local context. Additional solutions include increasing the capacity of a range of primary healthcare professionals, including GPs, nurses and community pharmacists, in treating tobacco dependence. This will improve the health outcomes of patients with tobacco dependence seen in primary care by increasing the number of quit attempts and the number of successful quits.

Results from this study are part of an ongoing project under the auspices of the International Primary Care Respiratory Group and funded by a Pfizer/Global Bridges grant.
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