1 in 5 Flemings is a smoker. A poll by the Foundation against Cancer shows that 20 percent of them has the intention to quit smoking within one year. However, while many have good intentions, many of these attempts are failing. Experts say that smoking cessation efforts are four times more successful when people opt for professional counselling from a tobaccologist.
"When a smoker uses an extra tool, this will double his or her chances. But when they choose personal counselling, their chances will double again. In fact, the chance of succeeding is 4 times higher", explains tobaccologist Els Bosch. "This is because you work on several areas at the same time: motivation, self-confidence, the physical addiction and using the right tools. They will also experience that they are not alone in this battle."
If you want to quit smoking, a session of half an hour with a tobaccologist can cost you 15 euros maximum, if you apply for a refund. The Foundation against Cancer says is happy with the figures, but wants the future Flemish government to take extra measures, and says the battle will only be won if nobody is smoking.
In 2017, 6,114 people were seeking help from a tobaccologist. In 2018, this number had risen slightly to 6,374, but the first three months of this have already seen 4,763 cases, though the figures only apply to the first quarter.