Light­ing path to beat­ing habit

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By CAITLIN TILLER

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.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d443040

UWA pro­vi­sional psy­chol­o­gists Erica Hodg­son, Khan Collins and Gabriela Pala­cios.

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