Half a billion smokers crave quitting support

Woman breaking cigarette. | Newsreel
The World Health Organisation has released guidelines to support those who want to quit smoking. | Photo: Bymurat Deniz (iStock)

More than half a billion smokers around the world, who want to quit, do not have access to the support to do so.

In response, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released its first clinical treatment guideline on tobacco cessation.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the guidelines provided a comprehensive set of tobacco cessation interventions, including behavioural support delivered by health-care providers, digital cessation interventions and pharmacological treatments.

Dr Ghebreyesus said the recommendations were relevant for all adults seeking to quit various tobacco products, including cigarettes, waterpipes, smokeless tobacco products, cigars, roll-your-own tobacco, and heated tobacco products.

“This guideline marks a crucial milestone in our global battle against these dangerous products,” he said.

“It empowers countries with the essential tools to effectively support individuals in quitting tobacco and alleviate the global burden of tobacco-related diseases.”

Dr Ghebreyesus said more than 60 percent of the world’s 1.25 billion tobacco users, more than 750 million people, wanted to quit, yet 70 percent lacked access to effective cessation services.

“This gap exists due to challenges faced by health systems, including resource limitations,” he said.

Read the guidelines.