The purpose of this paper is to review the barriers in the dissemination of effective smoking cessation treatments and services globally.

Offering tobacco users help to stop using tobacco is a key demand reduction measure outlined under Article 14 of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Implementing Article 14 can reap great dividends for the billion plus tobacco users around the world and their families, friends and societies.

A review of the status of the global implementation of Article 14 using available literature on smoking cessation products, services and national guidelines. Discussing innovative approaches being currently explored in South Asia that can lead to faster adoption and implementation of Article 14 globally.

Major gaps remain in cessation products’ availability and resource allocation for cessation services globally. Current licensed products are falling short on delivering and sustaining smoking cessation. Innovation in cessation products and services needs to build on learnings in nicotine pharmacokinetics, behavioural insights from consumer research and tap into 21st century tools such as mobile based apps. National implementation of FCTC’s Article 14 needs to follow guidelines that encourage integration into existing health programmes and health-care practitioners’ (HCPs) upskilling.

Smoking cessation is a desirable health outcome and nicotine replacement products are a means of achieving cessation through tobacco harm reduction. E-cigarettes are sophisticated nicotine replacement products. Innovation is urgently needed to fill the gaps in smoking cessation products and services, and for converting global policy into local practice. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), HCPs’ knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding tobacco use and cessation may hold the key to rapidly scaling up cessation support and delivery to achieve FCTC objectives sooner. Additionally, HCPs can play an important role in offering smoking cessation support in existing national health programmes for TB, cancer screening and maternal and child health. Also, widely prevalent smartphone devices may deliver smoking cessation through telemedicine in LMICs sooner, leapfrogging the hurdles of the existing health-care infrastructure.

Read full paper here.

Sudhanshu Patwardhan, Jed E. Rose – Drugs and Alcohol Today – July 13, 2020.

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