Quitting smoking easier by breaking link with other habits: experts

UWA provisional psychologists Erica Hodgson, Khan Collins and Gabriela Palacios.Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au   d443040
UWA provisional psychologists Erica Hodgson, Khan Collins and Gabriela Palacios.Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d443040

SMOKERS need to break the link between cigarettes and everyday actions like having a coffee, say provisional psychologists at the University of WA.

In October, three provisional psychologists will facilitate a 10-week group at the on-campus Robin Winkler Clinic to tackle the chemical and behavioural components to addiction.

Khan Collins said it was important to break the behavioural addiction.

“Often people try the patches which address the chemical addiction, but a big part is associative, like when people have a coffee and have a smoke,” Mr Collins said.

The group use a “smokaliser” to track participants’ progress.

“Often people reduce their cigarette intake and they feel they haven’t made progress but when they see carbon monoxide levels dropping off, it’s a good motivator to keep going,” Mr Collins said.

He said 8-12 people would meet weekly for group cognitive behavioural therapy.

“We want to look at behavioural aspects of addiction with problem solving and motivation, while the chemical side will be addressed by nicotine replacement therapy such as patches or gum.”

Contact Robin Winkler Clinic on 6488 2644 or email clinic-psy@uwa.edu.au for details.