Helping the World Quit Smoking: WHO's First Clinical Guidelines on Tobacco Cessation

▴ Quitting Smoking
The WHO's clinical treatment guidelines offer a comprehensive approach to help millions of people worldwide achieve their goal of quitting tobacco and improving their overall health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its first-ever clinical treatment guidelines aimed at assisting over 750 million tobacco users worldwide in quitting. With over 60% of the world's 1.25 billion tobacco users wanting to quit, but 70% lacking access to effective cessation services, this initiative is a significant step in the global fight against tobacco-related diseases.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, emphasized the importance of these guidelines, stating they empower countries with the necessary tools to support individuals in quitting tobacco, thereby reducing the global burden of tobacco-related diseases.

Dr. Rudiger Krech, Director of Health Promotion at WHO, highlighted the struggle faced by individuals trying to quit smoking. He stressed the need for communities and governments to provide robust support systems for those on this challenging journey.


The WHO recommends several treatments to aid tobacco cessation:

  •  Varenicline: A prescription pill that does not contain nicotine and works differently from other quit-smoking medicines. It is particularly beneficial for those who have not succeeded with other treatments.
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT): Includes products like nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges that help reduce withdrawal symptoms.
  • Bupropion: Originally an antidepressant, this non-nicotine-based medication helps alleviate withdrawal and craving symptoms associated with quitting smoking. It has been approved by the FDA and is used globally.
  • Cytisine: This medication has a molecular structure similar to nicotine and varenicline. It reduces the urge to use tobacco and mitigates withdrawal symptoms.


In addition to pharmaceutical treatments, the WHO guidelines recommend various supportive interventions to help individuals quit tobacco:

  •  Counseling: Individual, group, or phone counseling can provide personalized support and motivation.
  • Digital Interventions: Text messaging, smartphone apps, and internet programs offer convenient and accessible support for tobacco cessation.


Quitting tobacco is a significant challenge for many individuals. The addictive nature of nicotine makes it difficult to stop, and the process often involves dealing with withdrawal symptoms and strong cravings. The new WHO guidelines are designed to provide comprehensive support, addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of tobacco addiction.

The introduction of these clinical treatment guidelines is a crucial step in reducing the global prevalence of tobacco use. By providing effective tools and support, the WHO aims to decrease the number of tobacco users and subsequently reduce the incidence of tobacco-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses.

The WHO's new guidelines represent a vital resource for countries worldwide in their efforts to combat tobacco use. By implementing these recommendations, governments and health organizations can provide better support for individuals trying to quit tobacco, ultimately leading to healthier populations and a reduction in tobacco-related health issues.

Quitting tobacco is a challenging journey, but with the right support and resources, it is possible. The WHO's clinical treatment guidelines offer a comprehensive approach to help millions of people worldwide achieve their goal of quitting tobacco and improving their overall health.

Tags : #smoking #tobacco #tobacco-cessation #WHO #nicotine #cigarette

About the Author


Sunny Parayan

Hey there! I'm Sunny, a passionate writer with a strong interest in the healthcare domain! When I'm not typing on my keyboard, I watch shows and listen to music. I hope that through my work, I can make a positive impact on people's lives by helping them live happier and healthier.

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