About smoking cessation
The 1988 report of the US Surgeon General identified cigarette smoking as nicotine addiction. The Royal College of Physicians similarly concluded that nicotine is an addictive drug on par with heroin and cocaine, and that the primary purpose of smoking tobacco is to deliver a dose of nicotine rapidly to the brain. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classifies nicotine-related disorders into the sub-categories of dependence and withdrawal which may develop with the use of all forms of tobacco. The effects of tobacco and nicotine to produce dependence and withdrawal are also identified by the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems as a disease in the category "Toxic effect of other and unspecified substances".
Many tobacco users need support for quitting due to the addictiveness of tobacco products.
WHO provides a comprehensive overview of the biological factors related to substance use and dependence in the publication:
Evidence shows that cessation is the only intervention with the potential to reduce tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in the short- and medium-term. Support for smoking cessation or treatment of tobacco dependence refers to a range of techniques including motivation, advice and guidance, counselling, telephone and internet support and appropriate pharmaceutical aids. The success of these interventions depends on their synergistic use in a broader context of comprehensive tobacco control programmes. An overview of the evidence base currently available on smoking cessation interventions can be found in the 'WHO Policy Recommendations for Smoking Cessation and Treatment of Tobacco Dependence'.
Article 14 of the WHO FCTC addresses the issue of treatment of tobacco dependence and smoking cessation.