The dangers of smoking have been well established. It is associated with an increased risk of lung, bladder, and others cancers, and respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

Compared with nonsmokers, smokers have a 25-fold increased risk of lung cancer and a 2-fold to 4-fold increased risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Doctors can play an important role in educating patients who smoke about the adverse health effects of their habit and in helping them quit, but having such discussions can difficult given the limited amount of face-to-face time they can spend with patients.

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