Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Customised programmes to quit smoking addiction

The harmful effects of both active and passive smoking have been known for several decades, but this has not reduced the number of smokers worldwide, with several European countries boasting the highest rates of smoking. Investigative research by a Russian academy has sought to develop personalised programmes to help smokers quit their detrimental habit.
Customised programmes to quit smoking addiction
Tobacco has been cultivated and used by humans, first by chewing and more recently by smoking, for thousands of years. Christopher Columbus was the first European to discover smoking (in the Americas) some 500 years ago. Ever since then Europeans have been smoking with a passion.

Traditional values equating smoking with manhood, rebellion, adolescence, popularity, religion, culture, class and other societal factors have yet to be overcome by the overwhelming evidence that smoking seriously threatens the health of both smokers and the people around them. Recent medical remedies, such as nicotine gum and transdermal patches, have not been as effective as hoped in helping smokers quit. Governments are now attempting to curb advertising by cigarette manufacturers in order to help prevent the take-up of smoking by the younger generation, but something more substantial must be done for those that are already addicted.

Russian scientists have developed a method whereby a customised programme for quitting is created on a patient-by-patient basis based on their responses to a questionnaire. The questionnaire examines the reasons why the patient started smoking, smoking frequency, personality traits and other psychological attributes. Advanced statistical analysis tools in combination with psychopathological methods (e.g., Hamilton Score, MMP1 and Aizenk-EPQ methods, etc.) lead to a new approach to helping smokers quit whereby cessation programmes are customised according to the particular psychological make-up of the patient.

The scientists are looking for support, either in the form of funding or partnerships, to further their research in addition to opportunities for exchange of knowledge through training.
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