Smoking Cessation

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That smoking constitutes a major health threat is an undisputed fact. So is the knowledge of the potential benefits to be gained from stopping smoking.Wanting to stop smoking is definitely a prerequisite for any efforts to stop.Without that any attempt is likely to fail. A fortunate minority of smokers do manage to stop on willpower alone. However, in a significant percentage, willpower is not enough. These days there are many aides available to those wanting to stop. The most well-known include different forms of nicotine replacement, as well as oral medications to fight the craving for nicotine or reduce the pleasure derived from smoking. However also available are one to one sessions with a CBT specialist (cognitive behavioural therapist) and auricular acupuncturist. Paramount to embarking any treatment would be a proper consultation with a general practitioner. Together you can assess the level of addiction or dependence, whether physical or psychological, any underlying factors that may be causing the dependence, assess any co-morbid factors such as the presence of diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure, and eventually agree on the required approach tailored to your personal needs or circumstance, be it any single therapy or a combination of treatments.

In the past few years, we were particularly happy to have supported the 2014-2016 Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable campaign.

Launched in 2011 by the European Commission to help 24-35 year olds across Europe quit smoking, and successfully continued in 2012 and 2013, the 2014-2016 edition of the ‘Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable’ campaign was more determined than ever to help young people abandon tobacco and promote the many benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle. Better health and well-being, more disposable income and ultimately a better quality of life await those who decide to quit smoking.

This campaign saw the launch of the improved iCoach, the digital health coach available both online and as a mobile app for Apple and Android devices in the 23 languages of the 28 EU countries. iCoach was free and easily accessible to all who wished to use it, turning out to be a novel and very useful tool to help in stopping smoking. iCoach 2015 offered contemporary and user friendly approach to guide users through five progressive phases to quit smoking including several personal, phase-specific challenges. For example:

  • Keep track of how many cigarettes you smoke a day as you may be underestimating your habit (for smokers in Phase 2)
  • Postpone the “nicest” cigarette of the day 10 times for 10 minutes and then for 20 minutes (for smokers in Phase 3)
  • Leave your cigarettes at home when you need to run a short errand (for smokers in Phase 4)

These challenges enabled users to set themselves small, attainable goals which, once achieved, encouraged them to take on further challenges and gain control over their habit. Statistics showed that more than 480,000 people Europe-wide benefitted from iCoach and 37% of iCoach users said they quit smoking within 90 days. Although the service has since been stopped, the above messages are still valid and can still be adopted to help one control his/her habit.