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Johns Hopkins Medicine

Tobacco Treatment Clinic

jhu-tobbaco-treatmentEstablished in 2018, the Johns Hopkins Tobacco Treatment Center is the first such clinic in the state based on the premise that tobacco dependence is a chronic disease.

“We see patients exclusively for their tobacco dependence, understanding why they smoke and when they smoke and create individualized plans to help them quit at a timeline that is appropriate for them,” said Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, the center director.

“We aim to provide a smoking cessation plan that meets the patient’s individualized needs with reasonable goals and expectations,” he added. “In short, we are pro-smoker, anti-smoking.”

At their initial visit, patients evaluated. Variables such as the age they started to smoke, how much they smoke and why they chose to smoke are collected to identify their “smoking topography” and help patients see what conditioning around tobacco use will be easiest to break.

The clinic uses three general strategies to help the client quit: constant touchpoints, which means weekly communication with clients; controller medications if appropriate, such as the nicotine replacement therapy patch or bupropion; and, relief medications, such as nicotine gum, lozenges and nasal spray.

To help patients avoid relapsing, the center extends its services for up to two years to make sure patients remain smoke-free.

Recently, the clinic began seeing patients addicted to electronic cigarettes – some as young as 16.

Since opening in July 2018, the treatment center has had more than 200 referrals, and 90% of its patients have stopped smoking.

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's Health Care Heroes awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.