Dr. Christophe Cutarella is an addictological psychiatrist practising in France, and is a member of the scientific college at the Ramsay General Health Foundation. Dr. Cutarella set up a conversation bot on Facebook Messenger to help the French get away from cigarettes, among other things.
What are the keys to successfully quit smoking?
Dr. Cutarella: I would say that the right keys are the ones that work. There are as many keys as there are people. The ones that work are combinations of both group and individual therapy, as well as appropriate drug treatment.
What do you think of people who after a few months/years start smoking a cigarette again from time to time ‘for pleasure?’
Doctor Cutarella: From the moment you have been addicted you are more sensitive, so it is easier to become addicted again if you have already smoked.
What are the main difficulties when quitting smoking?
Doctor Cutarella: It’s a fear of lack and changing one’s habits. It is the physical, mental and behavioural part, all the rituals that we have put in place.
What are the modern ways to quit smoking today?
Dr. Cutarella: We have treatments, including vaping (electronic cigarette, NDLR). It's still better to vape than to smoke a classic cigarette. It is 95 times less toxic than normal cigarettes. It is a device that can help to reduce.
Do we replace one addiction with another?
Dr. Cutarella: We still have an addiction but it manifests itself differently. It's just the manifestation that's different. We still have cravings, but it refers to other things.
Is that why you get fatter when you quit smoking?
Doctor Cutarella: When you stop smoking and when you are not being helped, cravings can occur. Especially cravings for sugar. But if you are getting help you are no longer irritable or angry, and you are better able to handle your withdrawals.
What makes some people more likely to become addicted?
Dr. Cutarella: The answer is genetics, there may also be an underlying pathology, such as anxiety or discomfort.
Why can the health bot effectively help smokers quit smoking?
Doctor Cutarella: It allows us to handle the withdrawals through coaching. Perhaps more so than a doctor, it is a bit like a coach who helps an athlete, it will support the smoker and allow them to set objectives.