Now a helpline to quit tobacco

New Delhi: Quitting tobacco could become easier from this May 31 on `World No Tobacco Day` with a prominent tobacco cessation company Nicorette starting a helpline by providing techniques to get rid of the addiction.

Tushar Murdeshwar, Vice-President Marketing at Consumer Division of Nicorette`s parent company, Johnson & Johnson India said Tuesday: "We want to partner with quitters through their entire journey by providing them the entire infrastructure and support that is needed to quit."

"We are confident our tobacco cessation infrastructure will help tobacco users struggling to quit by guiding them on effective tobacco cessation techniques and providing encouragement through various touch points," he added.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), such helplines are essential for any tobacco-control effort due to their easy accessibility and cost-effectiveness as tools to increase the quit success rate.

Murdeshwar added that the helpline is the latest addition to Nicorette`s Tobacco Cessation Infrastructure which already has a Facebook page and an SMS-based text-to-quit service.

The company manufactures nicotine based chewing gums that help in quitting tobacco. The gums include small quantities of medicinal nicotine, that satiate a tobacco user`s nicotine craving without the harmful effects of smoking.

The helpline, called National Tobacco Cessation Quit Line will be accessible from May 31, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the toll-free number: 1800-227787.

Tobacco cessation counselling will be provided in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali. Also, callers wanting on-ground support will be referred to a local Tobacco Intervention Initiative (TII) centre of the Indian Dental Association (IDA). Currently there are 500 TII centres across India.

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (2009-2010) shows that one-third of all adults in India use tobacco in some form or the other and over 35 percent of them want to quit this habit. However, inaccessibility to treatment, lack of support and low levels of awareness has been the major hindrances in determining low success rates.


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