Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

Offer help to quit tobacco use


Problem

Tobacco contains nicotine, which is an addictive drug on par with heroine and cocaine. Most tobacco users are dependent on nicotine, and it is difficult for them to quit on their own. The primary purpose of smoking tobacco is to deliver a dose of nicotine rapidly to the brain. The effects of tobacco and nicotine to produce dependence and withdrawal are identified by the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems [I.C.D-10] as a disease in the category [T 65.2] ‘Toxic effect of other and unspecified substances’. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [D.S.M-IV] also classifies nicotine-related disorders into the sub-categories of dependence [305.10] and withdrawal [292.0], which may develop with the use of all forms of tobacco.

Dependence on nicotine is a biological force that drives smokers to self-dose for nicotine. Such behaviour is manifested in smoking more intensively or more cigarettes per day to obtain the dose that will give them satisfaction when using so called “low-yield” cigarettes. These cigarettes are promoted using terms, descriptors, trademarks or other signs that directly or indirectly create the false impression that the tobacco product is less harmful than other tobacco products. Most of these products are designed such that these changes in smoking behaviour return the delivery of nicotine and other smoke constituents to levels similar to those of so called “full-flavour” or “high–yield” cigarettes.

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