Quitting tobacco is not easy as tobacco dependence is a cluster of behavioural, cognitive and physiological phenomena. Very few tobacco users can successfully quit the habit in their first attempt.
Social norms do not support tobacco users to quit in some high-burden countries. For example, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) shows that:
- In China: only 23.2% of Chinese adults believe smoking causes serious illnesses. Only 24.6% believe exposure to tobacco smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer in adults and lung illnesses in children. Only 16.1% of current adult smokers plan to or are thinking about quitting in the next 12 months.
- In India, about 26% of current adult smokers plan to or are thinking about quitting in the next 12 months.
Evidence-based support to quit tobacco use (tobacco dependence treatment) includes methods from simple medical advice to pharmacotherapy, along with quit lines and counselling. However, tobacco users have low levels of awareness of the evidence about these tobacco dependence treatment interventions.