Those who want to take on the Tobacco Free Month challenge have ten days to prepare. Françoise Amelot, the director of the Tab’agir association in Yonne gives us all the keys to put all the chances of success on our side.
France Bleu Auxerre: Is not smoking for a month ambitious anyway for someone addicted to tobacco for years?
Françoise Amelot: I don’t think it’s that ambitious, since half of smokers want to quit smoking and often they have tested themselves for more or less time with varying degrees of success. And that’s part of the cycle: you have to do several tries, several stop attempts to stop permanently.
Do we rarely stop the first time?
On average, you have to make 7 attempts to be able to quit permanently. So, of course, we all know someone who quits overnight. But unfortunately, tobacco is a hard drug and it’s hard to get by. These attempts must be encouraged. if you stop smoking for 30 days, you are five times more likely to quit smoking for good.
Why is it easier to quit smoking in a group, during this kind of operation?
This is called a social communication operation. We train each other whether we are smokers and ex-smokers or non-smokers. We are all concerned by this, our relatives, our friends who may be affected by this drug. And suddenly, we are there to encourage them. There is all the national campaign of Public Health France who sends messages, videos with the support of artists more or less known. And above all, there are the local associations that are there, also funded by the State, to support smokers.
How do we help them?
At Tab’agir, we provide free support to smokers who do not feel capable of doing it alone. We accompany them with doctors, midwives, medical consultations. We also provide support in dietetics because we are often afraid to stop smoking, because we are afraid of gaining weight. Or we have already made attempts and we have gained weight. We have medical consultations, dietetic consultations and consultations for body language.
Has the health crisis and the anxiety it may have fostered prompted smoking?
Yes, there has been an increase in tobacco consumption during the lockdown period. That’s clear. The numbers prove it. However, when you are a smoker, you always want to quit smoking somewhere. Some people have experienced confinement in a rather difficult way and for others, it allowed them to stop, because often it is during breaks with colleagues that we smoke and with telework, this ritual has been turned upside down. .
Who are the heaviest smokers today?
We are dealing with young people aged 18 to 25, but it still tends to decrease consumption among young people. And then, for those who quit or decide to quit, we are in the 45 -50 age bracket.