Published: 18/04/2002, Volume II2, No. 5801 Page 8

Doctors have been given the go-ahead to prescribe nicotine replacement therapy and bupropion (Zyban) for people who want to give up smoking.The National Institute for Clinical Excellence says the cost of implementing its recommendations will be between£20m and£56m annually.Projected savings to the£1.5bn a year spent on treating smoking-related illnesses will offset this.The guidance says doctors should examine people's motivation to quit, how likely they are to follow the course of treatment and whether counselling and support are available.A second course of treatment should not be prescribed within six months.

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