Smoking cessation should have more emphasis within Tobacco Control? The case for
Smoking cessation is usually mentioned last in the chain of established measures to improve Tobacco Control. This seems logical, as smoking cessation is a secondary or tertiary preventative measure only. In the recently proposed Tobacco Control Scale (TCS) using 6 Tobacco Control measures pricing is considered most important, and smoking cessation least important. For current smokers secondary or tertiary preventative measures are necessary with smoking cessation being the most effective one as its impact on health is immediate. Pricing, on the other hand, is less effective in inciting current smokers to quit. Further, the vast majority of smokers would like to quit if they were able; so help in achieving this goal is welcome. Other Tobacco Control measures, on the other hand, are mostly negatively perceived by smokers because they perceive them as curtailment of their freedom. This is a psychological advantage the health professional active in this area has over other people involved in Tobacco Control and must be exploited. There is also strong evidence that smoking cessation is cost-effective, especially when comparing costs involved in addressing other important health risk factors, such as hyperlipidemia and arterial hypertension. Finally, the role of smoking cessation in helping to decrease social acceptability of smoking should not be underrated as every smoker who quits sets an example for other smokers to follow or for children not to start. In summary, smoking cessation continues to be of paramount importance among Tobacco Control measures, and should get more emphasis especially in health care settings.
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