A study by the Argentine Tobacco Association (AsAT) on consumption habits during compulsory social isolation, determined that a 71% of current smokers reported wanting to quit smoking.

The AsAT attributes it to the WHO warning that smokers are more likely to develop severe symptoms in the event of the disease compared to non-smokers, added this notice to the context that imposed mandatory social isolation such as cigarette shortages, price increases , concern for their own respiratory health and those who live with them.

However, most fail in this attempt and Raúl Guillermo Espinosa, president of the Argentine Tobacco Association, recalled that 44 thousand smokers die each year in Argentina.

The ASAT carried out an investigation on consumption habits during compulsory social isolation with the aim of having a “snapshot” of the behavior and the perception that smokers and ex-smokers have in this context, through a Anonymous online survey in which 1745 adults, between 18 and 90 years old, participated.

According to the data released by the survey, 71% of smokers stated that they want to quit smoking. However, 59% of them believe that it is impossible or not to stop smoking in these circumstances, despite the fact that 70% stated that they were more concerned about covid-19.

Julieta Cassone, a medical psychiatrist and vice president of AsAT, assured that a valuable tool is telemedicine and the use of ICTs (information and communication technologies) to provide medical services at a distance.

The term “tobacco cessation or teleintervention” refers to the application of telemedicine to smoking cessation treatments, but with the particularity that more than one type of technology can be used in the same strategy, with the intention of achieving greater efficacy and effectiveness of the intervention and improve patient control and monitoring

“The results of the survey show that smokers are concerned and we have to turn that concern into motivation to quit smoking,” Espinosa assured.

He argued that “it is not easy to give up tobacco addiction, but somehow This crisis represents a good time to reflect and be encouraged to start treatment online. “

“The possibilities offered by technology are endless and surely in the coming years we will have many more innovative tools that can be applied in the treatment of smoking,” concluded the specialist.

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