Smoking Cessation
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   There is a significant benefit from stopping smoking. A 30 year old who kicks a two pack per day habit will add 7.8 years to his life.A 50 year old who stops gains 4.8 years and even a 70 year old gains over 1 year.Obviously this is a difficult habit to break, studies show that physician counseling increases the quit rate by 3-7% and group counseling by 8-25%. Adding nicotine patches increases the quit rate from 4-9% up to 9-25%. Another study of nicotine patches showed the quit rate at 6 months went up from 9% to 22%. The best results may be to combine patches with Zyban (see Jorneby study below.)
People have to want to quit to be successful. One study of 15,000 women in an HMO who were encouraged to quit, found that at 18 months only 2.7% had stopped smoking. People may have more success quitting with the help of medication like Chantix or Zyban (go here).
Advice from the NCI Clinical Guide from the Surgeon General
American Cancer Society Review Article
Cessation Advice from the CDC Patient Info from Up to Date

Quit Rate at Six Months in Trials
Treatment Placebo (no specific  treatment)
nicotine gum:   13-30% 4 - 8%
nicotine patch:   9 - 12% 4%
nasal spray:   26- 35% 10 - 18%
inhaler:   6 - 21% 6 - 9%
Zyban:  27 - 28% 16 - 19%

Hughes. JAMA 1999;281:72

A Controlled Trial of Sustained-Release Bupropion (Zyban) , a Nicotine Patch, or Both for Smoking Cessation

Each year, approximately 20 million of the 50 million smokers in the United States try to quit smoking, but only about 6 percent of those who try succeed in quitting in the long term. Nicotine-replacement therapies, such as the nicotine patch and nicotine gum, boost the rates of smoking cessation by a factor of 1.4 to 2.6 in comparison with placebo treatments, but 70 to 80 percent of smokers who use these therapies still start to smoke again. Hurt and colleagues demonstrated that bupropion is an effective smoking-cessation aid: at 12 months, the abstinence rates were 23 percent among subjects assigned to receive 300 mg of bupropion per day for 7 weeks and 12 percent among subjects assigned to receive placebo. We compared bupropion, placebo, a nicotine patch,  and a combination of bupropion and the nicotine patch with regard to efficacy.
We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled comparison of sustained-release bupropion (244 subjects), a nicotine patch (244 subjects), bupropion and a nicotine patch (245 subjects), and placebo (160 subjects) for smoking cessation. Smokers with clinical depression were excluded. Treatment consisted of nine weeks of bupropion (Zyban 150 mg a day for the first three days, and then 150 mg twice daily) or placebo, as well as eight weeks of nicotine-patch therapy (Habitrol, 21 mg per day during weeks 2 through 7, 14 mg per day during week 8, and 7 mg per day during week 9) or placebo. The target day for quitting smoking was usually day 8.

Results. The abstinence rates at 12 months were 15.6 percent in the placebo group, as compared with 16.4 percent in the nicotine-patch group, 30.3 percent in the bupropion group (P<0.001), and 35.5 percent in the group given bupropion and the nicotine patch (P<0.001). N Engl J Med 1999;340:685-91