OBJECTIVE: To compare the growth of research on treatments for smoking with that for similar medical/behavioural disorders. DESIGN: We surveyed Medline for 1967-1994 for articles on smoking, alcohol, anxiety, and obesity disorders. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Number of articles published in two-year intervals. RESULTS: The number of articles per year on smoking/nicotine in humans increased fivefold from 1967 to 1994 compared with twofold for Medline as a whole. The rate of growth of empirical studies of treatment for smoking was as great as, or greater than, that for alcohol, anxiety, or obesity problems. In recent years, the rate of publication has continued to increase for drug treatments for smoking, has plateaued for brief advice, and has declined for behaviour therapy. CONCLUSION: Research on smoking is increasing as much as, if not more than, research in several similar disorders. The one area of apparent decline in smoking research is behaviour therapy for smoking cessation.
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