Quitting smoking is possible when help is available

Quitting smoking is possible when help is available

Quitting smoking is possible when help is available

Many smokers are aware of the harmful health effects of smoking, and its direct negative effects on them and the people living around them. Many smokers try to quit smoking, make the decision and start to quit smoking, but the person finds himself helpless in front of his intense desire to smoke and returns to smoking again. The solution here is for the smoker to control his craving for smoking, the more control a person has over his desire to smoke, the greater his chances of quitting smoking.

Will alone is not the solution

Studies have shown that the smoker’s will alone is not the solution to stop smoking, and out of every hundred people who try to quit smoking in this way, only three succeed in quitting smoking. The reason for this is due to the inability to control cravings for smoking, and the types of cravings related to smoking are classified into two types.

The first type: constant and continuous desire, which is the person’s constant sense of the need to smoke and to hold a cigarette, and it is at its peak in the first days when quitting smoking, while its intensity gradually decreases after several weeks have passed since stopping smoking.

The second type: It is the sudden desire to smoke, where the person suddenly feels an intense need to smoke, and this type of desire is often associated with the presence of stimuli such as feeling sad or happy, stress, or feeling tired, and sometimes up to being stimulated through a cup of coffee. This sudden urge decreases over time, but it can persist even several months after you stop smoking.


To control this strong association with smoking, and to reduce as much as possible the cravings to smoke, the smoker needs to have means to help him mitigate the severity of withdrawal symptoms so as to increase the smoker’s ability to quit smoking permanently afterwards, including:

  1. Nicotine replacement therapy: This treatment provides the smoker with nicotine that causes him to crave smoking, but at the same time is free of other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. This treatment is available in different forms, some specifically for the symptoms of persistent desire and others for the symptoms of sudden desire.
  2. Medical drugs that stop smoking: There are currently some prescription drugs, which work as an alternative to nicotine replacement therapy, and although they do not contain nicotine, they help to quench the urgent need for smoking.
  3. Behavioral changes: Although nicotine substitutes and smoke-stopping drugs help greatly to quench cravings for smoking, the smoker must also provide a conducive environment, by staying away from the triggers that stimulate his desire to smoke.

However, the smoker should consult a doctor about the best alternatives or medications that suit his health condition and the duration of his association with smoking.

Every year on the 31st of May, the World Health Organization celebrates the World No Tobacco Day, and this year’s slogan is (Tobacco Industries Exposed).

Hence, the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has focused on the efforts exerted to combat the scourge of smoking through several initiatives and the dissemination of smoking quitting clinics throughout the Kingdom to help those wishing to quit smoking by providing free counseling, therapeutic and behavioral support programs for smokers of both genders.

The Ministry of Health also launched an initiative within the anti-smoking program under the title “Our goal for you to say I quit”, which aims to raise community awareness about the harms related to smoking and passive smoking, through publications, stands and social media, in addition to launching an electronic portal for the anti-smoking program.



  1. King Andullah Arabic Health Encyclopedia, Quitting Smoking: dealing with its extreme cravings, 20/10/2017, Electronic Version available at:


  1. Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia, Anti-Smoking program, facts and information about tobacco, Electronic Version available at: