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MS Clinical Care Connection
To date, few modifiable risk factors have been found to influence the risk of disease development and/or progression in MS. Recent research indicates that cigarette smoking influences both. 1. Smokers and individuals with passive smoke-exposure have an increased risk of developing MS, 2. Smokers progress to secondary progressive MS at a faster rate than non-smokers and have greater risk of increasing disability. 3. Smokers may not get the full effect of MS disease-modifying therapies. 4. Smoking cessation has a protective effect by slowing progression of disability.

A Brief Tobacco Intervention – a tool developed by the CDC – recommends that providers ask about tobacco use, advise patients to quit and refer patients to smoking cessation resources.  Asking patients if they are familiar with the impact of smoking on MS disease progression and quality of life, and the potential risk of second-hand smoke to family members, is an important addition. Clinical guidelines for treating tobacco dependency are also available. Helping your patients who smoke to quit is an integral element of comprehensive MS care. 
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The National MS Society supports MS healthcare professionals through professional publications, tools and materials, as well as resources to share with patients and their families. Our information and resources are designed to help people affected by MS live their best lives — in partnership with all of the members of the MS comprehensive healthcare team.
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