Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Programs To Assist Quit Smoking

Programs to Help Stop Smoking

About 23 percent of the American population smokes, according to an article in the Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine). This percentage includes President Obama. Numerous campaigns, programs and government regulations have tried to reduce this percentage. The American Lung Association and the American Heart Association are concerned with the number of individuals who are dying from smoking-related illness. These associations have launched joint campaigns warning the public about the health perils of smoking.

Cigarettes and Addicition

Research led by scientists at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, discovered that more than half of individuals who suffer from a heart attack due to smoking still go back to cigarettes a year later. This research shows that even the threat of death has not been enough to deter people from smoking. Kicking the habit is difficult because people are fighting two components - the physical addiction to nicotine and the psychological, habitual addiction.

Behavior Modification Programs

Some of the most common programs that smokers use are behavior modification programs. These programs are designed with the idea that smoking is a learned behavior. Therefore, quitting requires unlearning the behavior linked to smoking. During the behavior modification process, the individual is often told to substitute the smoking behavior with something new and healthy.

Nicotine Replacement

Nicotine replacement is another effective program. These programs require an individual to replace the nicotine with a patch or gum. As the person applies the patch or chews the gum, nicotine is released into the bloodstream in small doses. These types of programs were created to downplay the withdrawal experiences smokers endure when they quit.


Counseling programs also are available for people who want to quit smoking. Counseling sessions provide smokers with support, encouragement and information through groups, Internet, phone, or in-person talks. These programs work by designing a strategy for quitting. Some smokers find that having group or personal support makes quitting easier.


In 2003, the World Health Organization signed a global treaty that was aimed to reduce and eventually eliminate tobacco sales. The treaty included bans on cigarette advertisements and other regulations. Unfortunately, many countries have failed to fully implement the global treaty. Smoking bans in public places, nicotine replacement therapy and even higher taxes have helped people kick the habit. Still, more needs to be done to prevent the deaths associated with cigarette smoking.

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