Ditching the Smoke: New Approaches to Quit Smoking

Ditching the Smoke: New Approaches to Quit Smoking

Smoking cigarettes can be a difficult habit to break. The allure of nicotine and the comfort it provides can make it challenging to quit for good. In India, the rates of smoking cessation are particularly low. According to the World Health Organization, around 55% of smokers in India want to quit but have been unable to do so, and only 4% successfully quit.

However, new research offers hope for those struggling to quit smoking. A study conducted by the University of Bristol and published in the journal Addiction suggests a combination approach to cessation. Rather than relying solely on nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) or going cold turkey, the study recommends a combination of behavioral counseling, NRT, and modern drugs like varenicline and bupropion. These new medicines help suppress cravings for nicotine and manage withdrawal symptoms, offering a more comprehensive approach to quitting.

In addition to medical interventions, seeking professional support is becoming increasingly important. Experts recommend cessation support to help individuals identify and cope with triggers that cause relapse. The government has mandated the establishment of tobacco cessation clinics in all government dental colleges, involving dentists who can provide long-term support and motivation to quit. This approach capitalizes on the fact that dentists can quickly identify tobacco use by examining the mouth.

Preparing to quit is crucial when attempting to quit smoking. Understanding the addiction to nicotine and the impact it has on the brain helps individuals be better prepared for the challenges of quitting. Behavioral therapy plays a significant role in the cessation process, addressing triggers and finding individualized solutions through counseling.

While quitting smoking may require multiple attempts, with tailored counseling and support, success is possible. It’s essential to keep trying and remain determined on the journey to becoming smoke-free.


1. What is nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT)?

Nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) involves using products like gums, patches, or sprays that contain nicotine but not the harmful chemicals found in tobacco. These products help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, making it easier to quit smoking.

2. Are varenicline and bupropion safe?

Yes, varenicline and bupropion are classified as safe and effective for tobacco abstinence by the World Health Organization. These medications help suppress nicotine cravings without relying on a substitute and aid in managing withdrawal symptoms.

3. How can behavioral counseling help with smoking cessation?

Behavioral counseling focuses on identifying triggers for smoking and developing coping mechanisms to overcome them. It helps individuals understand their smoking patterns, motivations, and emotional connections to smoking, providing personalized solutions to support quitting.

4. Why is professional support important for quitting smoking?

Professional support offers guidance, motivation, and coping strategies for those trying to quit smoking. It helps individuals navigate triggers and relapse situations effectively, increasing the chances of long-term success.

– World Health Organization: (URL of the domain)

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