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Efforts of smoking cessation clinic hailed

May 31 marks World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) in 2012, a day created by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1987 as a way to bring worldwide attention to the tobacco epidemic today. To help people who have difficulty in quit smoking, Ningbo opened its first smoking cessation clinic in November, 2008 in the Affiliated Hospital of School of Medicine of Ningbo University. Up till now, as the only smoking cessation clinic in Ningbo, it has received more than 1,000 patients who seek professional help in their struggle to quit smoking.

Dr. Chen Zhongbo is a full-time doctor in the smoking cessation clinic. Having treated many smokers, he agreed that the temptation to smoke is hard to resist in the stressful society today.

"While smoking is a common practice Today, more and more people, with a higher level of education, are aware of the need for smoking quitting. The trend is reflected by the increasing patients seeking help in hospital. However, to quit smoking, people need time and a better surrounding. "

According to Dr. Chen, there are two ways to quit smoking. One is to kick the habit with one’s willpower. It is hard for most smokers although some patients successfully do so.

Another way is seeking medical aid, which combines the psychological, behavioral, and drug treatment. So far, it is proved to be more scientific and effective.

"Most patients coming to our clinic are white collars and business people. Their stress-ridden lifestyle makes cigarettes a necessity in their daily life. To help them, we first make them believe they can quit smoking. Then we carry out certain behavioral therapy according to their life and working style, but this is not enough for chain smokers, who need the third treatment: medication. " said Dr. Chen.

Currently, there are three kinds of drugs for smoking cessation treatment, namely, the nicotine patches, the bupropion tablets and the varenicline tablets. However, nicotine patches may lead to addiction and bupropion is not suitable for people with mental disorder, so most doctors recommend varenicline tablets.

"Varenicline tablets treatment requires a 3-month term for its first stage. A patient can quit smoking within 3 to 6 months if he/she can maintain a regular schedule and stable mood while avoiding caffeine or alcohol. "According to Dr. Chen, the ability of varenicline to help relieve the craving for nicotine can contribute to its relatively high efficacy in treating smokers

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