Quitting smoking cold turkey is the best way to stop long term

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gradual versus abrupt smoking cessation

a randomized trial for many people the

obvious way to quit smoking is to cut

down gradually until they stop in this

trial we showed that the obvious way

cutting down first was a less successful

way to quit and smoking is normal and

then stopping we know that more than

half those who try to quit smoking do so

by trying to cut down after all that's

how we accomplish most goals that are

hard we gradually build up our training

until we can run the marathon with

addictions other than smoking

we aim to get people to cut down

gradually rather than stop abruptly but

with smoking the notion of the quick day

has become ingrained around the world

physicians and others who support

smoking cessation help people to quit

abruptly and not to cut down first this

is important because we know that

getting help behavioral supports and

medication increases the chances of

success three or fourfold

if physicians are not providing this

support to people who want to quit by

reduction then they have less chance of

success on the other hand if this method

is a bad way to quit then we need to

persuade people to abandon their

common-sense idea and quit abruptly

instead to look at this we recruited 700

people who wanted to quit smoking and

split them into two equal groups both

groups had a target quit day two weeks

after they enrolled in the study the

reduction group tried to cut down their

cigarette smoking by half during the

first week and have it again during the

second week before quitting complete two

weeks later the abrupt group smoked as

normal fatigue

and then tried to stop smoking

completely after their quit date we

found that the abrupt group were 25%

more likely to stop smoking than the

group who tried cutting down first both

in the short term and in the long term

and this result was not affected by

people's preferences most people thought

that cutting down would suit them better

fewer thought that stopping smoking

would sue them better but whatever they

thought it turned out they were better

to try to quit abruptly and not by

cutting down first the difference seemed

to arise because people struggle to cut

down it gave them extra work to do that

seemed to put them off the idea of

quitting completely if people made a

quit attempt the success rates were

equal but fewer people made a quit

attempt in the reduction arm it's

important to be clear about what these

results mean these were people who

wanted to quit soon who could set a quit

date for these people smoking as normal

and then having a quick day is

definitely the best approach many people

who smoke cannot imagine stopping

smoking right now for then we know from

other research that the best thing they

can do is to try to cut down and use a

nicotine replacement to help the cutting

down process so cutting down is good but

for those who can bring themselves to do


quitting abruptly is better