National Institute for Health Development: 22,626 visits made to quitting support centres in last four years

30. May 2014

22,626 visits in total have been made to quitting support centres in the last four years.

According to the National Institute for Health Development, 6534 people in Estonia paid 22,626 visits to centres that offer counselling to people who want to quit smoking.

Expert and Quitting Counsellor from the National Institute for Health Development Tiiu Härm says that 53% of the people who attended counselling in 2012 and 2013 either did not start or discontinued the quitting process, according to the reports of the counselling centres. “Quitting tobacco is a difficult and challenging process,” said Härm. “It often takes three or four attempts before people finally manage to give it up.”

People who have used tobacco are considered non-users once they have managed to stay away from it for 12 months. Ca 19% of those who started in 2012 and 2013 became tobacco-free after six months. 9% have managed to stay away from tobacco for a year. “The majority of those who give up after six months continue the year-long quitting, which raises the percentage of quitters,” said the counsellor. “We’ve achieved better results in previous years, but the diversity of tobacco products has increased in recent years and we may not always receive adequate feedback about their use.”

At present, there are 18 centres in 11 Estonian cities where qualified healthcare professionals help people who want to quit tobacco. The counselling includes advice on how to stop using tobacco, the preparation of an individual quitting and treatment plan, guidelines on how to avoid going back to tobacco use and treatment of addiction with medicines. There are more than 400 qualified counsellors in Estonia. In addition to medical counselling, it is also possible to provide brief counselling and this is mostly done by family and school nurses.

Help in quitting tobacco has been offered since 2005. Counselling has also been offered within the Estonian Defence Forces since 2012. This service is free of charge.

36% of men and 18% of women or 26% of the adult population of Estonia smoke every day. According to the level of education, the share of smokers is highest (37%) among people with primary or basic education. Only 12% of people with higher education are smokers. The objective of the National Health Plan is to reduce the share of everyday smokers among the adult population to 21.5% by 2016 and 18.3% by 2025. The preconditions for this exist, as the percentages of smokers in Tartu City and County and Saaremaa are already close to the target, at 19% and 20%, respectively.

People who want to quit smoking can also receive counselling in East-Tallinn Central Hospital.

The quitting support centre is located in the Ravi Street unit of the hospital. Call us on 1900 for further information.


For further information, please contact:
Maris Jakobson, PR Adviser, National Institute for Health Development
659 3906, 5302 2737, maris.jakobson[A]