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To quit smoking, take action!

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Ten thousand steps and more. In the litany of good New Year's resolutions, quitting smoking is often at the top of the list. The City of Paris and the National Cancer Institute (INCa) announced, at the end of December 2023, Launching a program to help quit smoking based on physical activity (AP).

The numbers are overwhelming: “Tobacco is the number one enemy of public health.”, insists Thierry Breton, Director General of INCA. With 75,000 people dying annually in France, including 46,000 from cancer, smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths. “One in two smokers dies from a tobacco-related disease.”Refers to the press release issued by INCA and the City of Paris. It is the cause of more than 80% of lung cancer cases, but is also involved in seventeen other sites of malignancy.

Quitting smoking often seems insurmountable. One in two smokers wants to quit smoking, but less than half succeed. The reason is a strong dependence on nicotine, which can lead to a withdrawal syndrome, but also a strong desire to smoke a cigarette, which can last for weeks or even months after stopping the substance. This urge to consume is one of the components of addiction.

Read also: A large study published in The Lancet highlights the role of tobacco and alcohol in cancer

A €120,000 INCa-funded program will take place in the coming weeks at the 19th century Curial Sports Health Center (MSS).H Paris area for about sixty people.

During the first interview, participants' motivations to quit smoking and their physical abilities will be assessed, in order to suggest the most appropriate activities. They will benefit from three free sessions per week, ranging from 45 minutes to one hour, over a period of six months. The first evaluation will be conducted at the end of the program and after another six months. Additional activities such as tobacco counseling may also be offered. After that, the goal is to make the person independent so that he can access free places in the city of Paris, at the MSS Curial or elsewhere. In the event of a relapse, the person may be offered other options.

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Helps reduce “craving”

“If the experience proves conclusive, the idea is to reject this program, so that it can be offered to all communities“, explains Thierry Breton. This type of initiative targets rather the less fortunate public, whose consumption is higher and the risk of returning to smoking is greater. »

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