Offer help to quit tobacco use

When informed of the risks, most tobacco users what to quit, but few get help and support to overcome their dependence. Health-care systems have primary responsibility for treating tobacco dependence. Programmes should include tobacco cessation advice incorporated into primary health-care services, easily accessible and free telephone help lines (known as quit lines), and access to low-cost medicines. All health-care workers should become advocates for tobacco control. Governments can use some tobacco tax revenues to help tobacco users free themselves from addiction.

In 2010, as a means to facilitate access to treatment of tobacco dependence, WHO made a decision to include two nicotine replacement therapy products (transdermal patches and chewing gums) on the WHO Essential Medicines List. This represents an opportunity to enhance the availability of tobacco dependence treatments, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Guidelines to article 14 of the WHO FCTC help countries to take effective measures to promote cessation of tobacco use and adequate treatment for tobacco dependence.