People who stop smoking abruptly have a 25 percent better chance of remaining cigarette free than people who use any other method to stop smoking. Dr. Nicola Lindson-Hawley and colleagues from Oxford University in Britain are the first to demonstrate the advantages of going “cold turkey” when trying to quit smoking. The study was reported in the March 14, 2016, edition of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
The researchers compared abruptly quitting smoking versus gradually quitting smoking in 697 adult smokers. The abrupt quitting group selected a quit date and stopped smoking. The gradual quitting group reduced their cigarette consumption by 75 percent before they tried to quit. Both groups received counseling and nicotine replacement therapy prior to the target date for quitting.
The two test groups were compared at four week intervals and six week intervals after the participants supposedly quit smoking. The group that abruptly quit smoking had a 25 percent higher success rate than the gradual quitting group. The researchers do not offer a physical or psychological reason for the difference in the ability to quit smoking if a person stopped smoking abruptly.
One might even advance the idea based on this study that just quitting is the best way to stop smoking. The majority of people who try to quit smoking and fail spend a small fortune on therapy, nicotine replacement products, or drugs that supposedly curb the desire to smoke. The study shows human will is the best way to stop smoking as well as the least expensive.