Alcohol, illegal drugs and tobacco cause a great deal of suffering for those affected and high consequential costs for society. Besides the "classic" addictions, there are also "new" forms such as dependence on prescription drugs, gambling or excessive use of the Internet.


Stop-smoking hotline: "We don't lecture or judge anyone"

Stop-smoking hotline. The tele-phone number of the stop-smoking hotline is on every packet of cigarettes or tobacco in Switzerland. At the other end of the line, callers will find people who know how hard it is to beat this addiction – and how they can nevertheless succeed with the right support. more


At first hand

Editoral René Stamm It's been 20 years since "spectra", the health promotion and prevention newsletter published by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), was launched. Born out of a desire to raise the profile of the FOPH's projects, specifically in the fields of drugs and AIDS, the form and content of "spectra" have changed continually in the past two decades, while always reflecting the changes taking place in society. more


Support for professionals in the health service, education, social services and law enforcement who deal with people with addiction problems

Addiction questions in the front-line services. Every day, people from various public services come into contact with clients who are at risk of becoming addicted or are already addicted. How should they handle these clients? How should they address the addiction problem? How should they offer help, and in what form? The "Addiction questions in the front-line services" project investigates these questions and supports professionals who come into contact with people with addiction problems in their everyday work. more


Five years of effective legal protection against passive smoking

Tobacco control. Five years ago, on 1 May 2010, the Federal Act on Protection against Passive Smoking came into force. It had been preceded by years of debate, some of it highly controversial. Today people take a calmer view. Smoking bans cause little discussion nowadays, and smoke-free pubs and restaurants have become the norm. What's more, the law is extremely effective. more


The new "SmokeFree" campaign is backed by a broad alliance for tobacco prevention

SmokeFree tobacco prevention campaign. The new version of the broadly based "SmokeFree" awareness campaign launched by the federal government and its partners in the cantons and NGOs aims to motivate smokers to opt for a life without tobacco. The campaign is one of the measures undertaken as part of the National Tobacco Programme (NTP), and over the next three years is intended to establish non-smoking more firmly as the norm in society. more


Working together to create a society in which fewer people fall ill or die from the effects of smoking

National Tobacco Programme. On 9 May 2012, the Swiss Federal Council extended the National Tobacco Programme by a further four years to the end of 2016. This measure ensures that prevention activities already launched have a long-term effect. more


Reducing the negative effects of alcohol consumption for the individual and society as a whole

National Alcohol Programme. The second phase of the National Alcohol Programme (NPA) got under way in 2013 and will run until 2016. This year the focus has been on continuing and strengthening the alliance-based approach. more


"We don't judge whether the lifestyle they choose is good or not."

Interview with Kaspar Zölch. What happens with addicts once they reach an age at which they are dependent on care and support in residential facilities? The care homes and homes for the elderly that accept them are still few in number. The Solina Spiez in the Bernese Oberland accommodates 180 persons in need of care. Ten of them are former drug addicts now receiving methadone or Diaphin (the pharmaceutical proprietary name for pure heroin) in the framework of a substitution programme, and 25 are alcoholics. Solina Spiez director Kaspar Zölch talks about his experiences with his colourful mix of clients and their very specific needs. more


That last "one for the road" can be one too much in the elderly

Alcoholism in ageing. Every sixteenth person in Switzerland over the age of 60 regularly drinks too much alcohol. This problem is often not taken seriously. more


Alcohol abuse: the greatest damage is to the economy

Alcohol-related costs. Excessive alcohol consumption weighs heavily not only those directly affected, but also on society as a whole – to the tune of over four billion francs a year. This is the conclusion of a study commissioned by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). The bulk of the costs is borne by the economy: alcohol-related productivity losses amount to CHF 3.4 billion a year. more