Tobacco cessation’s role in tobacco control
Tobacco use is the world’s biggest cause of disease and premature death. To address this epidemic of tobacco use, prevention activities are not enough. Tobacco control efforts also need to help current users to quit.
Tobacco is highly addictive. This is mainly because tobacco products deliver nicotine rapidly to the brain. Nicotine addiction leads to powerful urges to use tobacco, in order to relieve the adverse mood and physical symptoms caused by abstinence. Tobacco dependency is a chronic medical condition requiring repeated intervention and multiple attempts to quit.
Most tobacco users want to quit but it can be hard to do so. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (1999–2008) found that 71% of students aged 13–15 in the Eastern Mediterranean Region who smoke want to quit. However, few services exist to help them do so, and only 16% of teachers in the Region are trained to help students avoid or stop using tobacco, according to the Global School Professionals Survey (2000–2008).