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The conference from which these proceedings were drawn was convened under the auspices of the Behavioral Biology Research Center of the Johns Hopkins University and funded by an educational grant from CIBA-GEIGY Pharmaceuticals. It served as a forum for tobacco control researchers, clinicians, policy makers, and advocates to interact and learn about the current status of smoking cessation, from the general population level with Dr Giovino’s presentation, all the way to specifics about treatment programmes and nicotine replacement treatment in Dr Abrams and Dr Sachs’ presentations and the resulting discussions.

The conference itself would not have been possible without the help and support of Joe Brady and his assistant Pat Theiss at the Behavioral Biology Research Center of the Johns Hopkins University, the Federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Federal Office on Smoking and Health, and finally CIBA-GEIGY Pharmaceuticals. The publication of this document would not have occurred without the support of CIBA-GEIGY Pharmaceuticals, Kabi Pharmacia, Marion-Merrell Dow, the National Cancer Institute, and the Office on Smoking and Health. We appreciate all of their assistance.

The planning committee that conceived and implemented the conference consisted of Jack Henningfield, John Pinney, Saul Shiffman, and Maxine Stitzer. Their commitment, patience, and thoughtful ideas proved invaluable.

This supplement demanded many hours of staff time to compile and edit. Joe Gitchell and Jackie Hawkins managed the editing and preparation of the manuscripts under the general direction of John Pinney. Thanks also to our peer reviewers for their valued input, and many thanks to Alex Williamson and Sue Peter at the British Medical Journal for all of their help.

Finally, we thank all of the presenters, moderators, and panellists who shared their ideas and experiences, and the participants who challenged us with their questions and opinions.