a1 Tobacco Treatment Specialist, MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence Portland, Maine, USA
a2 Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology and Family Practice, University of Vermont, USA
a3 Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center, Portland, Oregon, USA
Tobacco dependence is characterised as a chronic, relapsing disorder that typically requires multiple quit attempts before successful, long-term abstinence is achieved (Steinberg, Foulds, Richardson, Burke, & Shah, 2006). Best practice, evidence-based treatment includes multiple-session counselling and pharmacotherapy, or the combination of both (Fiore et al., 2008). The field has moved past the notion that tobacco dependence is simply a bad habit, a vice, or a moral deficiency that can be overcome by willpower or education alone (Mars & Ling, 2008). However, the language used in discussing treatment has not always been consistent with this evidence. Some words and phrases used lend themselves to varied meanings, and could lead to significant misunderstanding not only among professionals in the field, but also among the general public (O'Brien, 2010; Davis, 1992; Perkins, 1999; Hughes, 2013). In this paper, we discuss some commonly used, problematic terminology, and suggest more appropriate terms (Table 1).