Personalised information for improving the uptake of smoking cessation programs
Smoking is the world’s leading cause of preventable illness and death (1). Accounting for 6 million deaths annually, 600,000 of smoking-related deaths occur in non-smokers exposed to second hand smoke (2). A major risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of death worldwide, smoking affects nearly every organ of the body (3). Smokers usually underestimate their risk of smoking-related diseases (4). Awareness of health concerns are a major motivator to quit (5,6). One in every two smokers will die from their addiction, however quitting substantially reduces this risk (7,8). Making an attempt to quit smoking and then sustaining abstinence are both equally important in ultimately succeeding quitting. Smokers frequently attempt quitting several times unsuccessfully before achieving long-term abstinence (9,10). Smokers who seek support in quitting are much more likely to quit than those who try to quit alone, and the most effective aid for achieving smoking cessation is medication (e.g., nicotine replacement therapy, or varenicline) coupled with tailored behavioral support from specialist stop smoking services, like the National Health Service Stop Smoking Services (NHS SSS) in the UK (11-13).