Tshering Namgyal  | Mongar

Twenty four tobacco consumers have availed the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) since Bhutan Narcotic Control Agency (BNCA) launched it at its drop-in-centre (DIC) in Mongar in August. 

The DIC supplies Nicotex, a substitute for tobacco that contains nicotine, to help tobacco consumers to help quit tobacco. 

In-charge of the DIC in Mongar, Tshewang Jemo, who looks after the three eastern dzongkhags of Mongar, Lhuentse and Trashi Yangtse, said the drop-in-centre was established purely for those who wanted to quit tobacco. 

The centre, she said, would ask a set of questions to its clients and rate them depending on the severity of the dependence on tobacco. The clients are provided with Nicotex for four to eight weeks depending on the level of dependence on tobacco. 

Tshewang Jemo said that the information about the therapy was displayed on the board in front of the DIC and announced on its “social media forum for regional heads”.  The centre also carried out in-person sensitisation programmes.

DIC officials said that they were hoping that the number of tobacco users showing up to the center would increase gradually. 

The therapy was initially implemented in Thimphu and is being gradually taken to regional DICs. 

DIC officials said that the therapy had been successful in many countries.

The Mongar DIC recorded 44 cases of tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse among the people in the age group of 16-32 years from January to September this year.