A reader (MaryBeth) asks Why isn't SMOKING treated with the same intensive interventions as other addictive substances, like alcohol, drugs, food, . Why even the 12 step programs , don't include smoking, among them.Any information or thoughts on this is appreciated.
In my opinion, doctors do treat smoking intensively, at least from a medication standpoint. In the resident internal med clinic I work in, we ask patients about smoking status and offer medication treatment for cessation (Wellbutrin, nicotine patch, nicotine gum, etc). I think the reason that there are no 12 step programs for smoking is because it does not ruin the average smoker's life (at least not right away). Drug addicts and alcoholics often destroy their lives while still young- for example stealing to support a crack habit, drunk driving convictions, blackouts, financial devastation, divorce, etc. Most cigarette smokers remain productive members of society throughout the normal working years. Usually they don't develop lung cancer or severe COPD until they're older (this is a generalization, some smokers develop health problems at a younger age, some never do)