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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Public Health Guidance from NICE

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidance on Smoking Cessation and Physical Activity.

This guidance is the first to be issued by NICE in a new category called Public Health Intervention Guidance. A quick reference guide for healthcare professionals is available for both topics.

The Smoking Cessation guidance recommends:

  • using simple opportunistic advice to all smokers
  • assessing a patients commitment to stopping smoking
  • offering pharmacological and/or behavioural support
  • provision of self help materials and referral to specialist services

The Physical Activity guidance recommends:

  • encouraging physical activity for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week where appropriate
  • taking into account an individuals needs, preferences and circumstances
  • endorsing exercise referral schemes that are part of properly conducted studies designed to assess efficacy
  • encouraging participation in properly run walking and cycling schemes
  • endorsing use of pedometers in properly conducted studies designed to assess efficacy

Action: All healthcare professionals should be encouraging patients to undertake more physical activity and to stop smoking. This guidance makes clear recommendations about how this can be accomplished.

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