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    Morphett, Kylie Carter, Adrian Hall, Wayne and Gartner, Coral 2016. A qualitative study of smokers’ views on brain-based explanations of tobacco dependence. International Journal of Drug Policy, Vol. 29, p. 41.

    Morphett, Kylie Partridge, Brad Gartner, Coral Carter, Adrian and Hall, Wayne 2015. Why Don’t Smokers Want Help to Quit? A Qualitative Study of Smokers’ Attitudes towards Assisted vs. Unassisted Quitting. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 12, Issue. 6, p. 6591.

    Sheffer, Christine E. Payne, Thomas Ostroff, Jamie S. Jolicoeur, Denise Steinberg, Michael Czabafy, Sharon Foulds, Jonathan Bars, Matthew Wassum, Ken and Perry, Barbara 2014. Increasing the Quality and Availability of Evidence-based Treatment for Tobacco Dependence through Unified Certification of Tobacco Treatment Specialists. Journal of Smoking Cessation, p. 1.


New terminology for the treatment of tobacco dependence: a proposal for debate

  • Fred Wolff (a1), John R. Hughes (a2) and Susan S. Woods (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 16 August 2013

Tobacco dependence is characterised as a chronic, relapsing disorder that typically requires multiple quit attempts before successful, long-term abstinence is achieved (Steinberg, Foulds, Richardson, Burke, & Shah, 2006). Best practice, evidence-based treatment includes multiple-session counselling and pharmacotherapy, or the combination of both (Fiore et al., 2008). The field has moved past the notion that tobacco dependence is simply a bad habit, a vice, or a moral deficiency that can be overcome by willpower or education alone (Mars & Ling, 2008). However, the language used in discussing treatment has not always been consistent with this evidence. Some words and phrases used lend themselves to varied meanings, and could lead to significant misunderstanding not only among professionals in the field, but also among the general public (O'Brien, 2010; Davis, 1992; Perkins, 1999; Hughes, 2013). In this paper, we discuss some commonly used, problematic terminology, and suggest more appropriate terms (Table 1).

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Fred Wolff, MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence, 110 Free Street, Portland, Me. 04101 207-662-7134 E-mail:
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Journal of Smoking Cessation
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