The month of November is approaching and its arrival will mark the start of the 8th edition of Tobacco-Free Month. For all smokers who want to quit smoking, now is the time to register to participate. What other tips should you put in place to win this challenge? Here is the advice of Dr Olivier Galera, tobacco specialist at the Saint-Orens clinic in Haute-Garonne.
Established seven years ago now, Month Without Tobacco sees its 8th edition beginning in a few days, under the aegis of Public Health Europe and the Ministry of Health. This challenge is launched to all smokers, during the month of November, to encourage them to quit smoking.
To participate, you must register on the website now
To participate in this month, it is recommended to register now on the site, Month Without Tobacco, in order to benefit from free support for the process of quitting smoking. Smokers who make this choice will then be able to benefit from:
- A consultation with a smoking cessation professional;
- A free smoking cessation kit to receive at home or to download, containing a 40-day program (i.e. 10 days of preparation and 30 days of challenge) with daily advice to help you quit smoking , a wheel to calculate your savings and information on all the tools available to help you;
- Tools, such as the Tabac Info Service site or application and support from different communities on social networks.
Do you really have to be motivated to quit smoking?
To try to quit smoking – or to justify continuing – some smokers put forward the motivation argument. “That’s not a good argument.” according to Dr Olivier Galera, tobacco specialist at the Saint-Orens clinic in Haute-Garonne. “SIf we look at the figures, only between 3 and 9% of people saying they were motivated to quit smoking did not take the plunge again one year later. Which means more than 90% failed.”.
Getting treatment for your physical dependence on nicotine
For the doctor, the right approach is to consider yourself “sick”, due to the strong dependence that nicotine creates. “This is an approach that we rarely have in Europe, yet it is the reality. Smokers have an extremely strong dependence on nicotine, for which they must be treated.“.
For the doctor, participating in Tobacco-Free Month should therefore not require preparation in itself. “If we talk about preparation, this emphasizes the constraint and the efforts that the smoker will have to make. Rather, this opportunity must be taken to have access to competent health professionals, who can help them wean themselves, by establishing an effective therapeutic education program..
Does No Tobacco Month really help fight against smoking in Europe?
Last year, in 2022, more than 162,000 people signed up for this health challenge, including 67% women. But this remains an insufficient measure, for Dr. Galera. “This is an honorable figure but it should not be the tree that hides the forest. Because every year, approximately as many young people enter the tobacco business, having the possibility of purchasing it from certain tobacconists while they are minors. To truly fight against tobacco, we should start by implementing the 2010 law prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors.“concludes the doctor.