Despite the very well-known fact cigarettes are deadly — cigarettes are responsible for 480,000 deaths every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — we still smoke them.
If you’re a smoker looking to quit, good for you.
Also, there’s something you should know: According to a recent study, the most effective way to quit smoking is to do it cold turkey.
The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, divided a group of close to 700 heavy smokers from England into two groups.
One group was instructed to pick a day to quit smoking. On that date, those participants would quit cold turkey. They were then given nicotine patches for the two weeks leading up to their quit days to make the process a little bit easier.
The other group was instructed to cut back on the number of cigarettes they smoked for two weeks and then stop smoking completely. They were given aids like gum, lozenges and nicotine patches to make cutting back easier.
Both groups were given therapy and patches after they quit, too.
The cold turkey group came out on top. One month after the study ended, 49 percent of the people who quit abruptly still hadn’t had a cigarette. Six months later, 22 percent of the group still held strong.
The gradual group, on the other hand, saw a lower rate of success. After one month, 39.2 percent of the group still weren’t smoking, and after six months, 15.5 percent of them still hadn’t smoked.
Of course, cold turkey isn’t the only way to go if you’re trying to quit smoking. If the very idea of picking a day and quitting sounds way too daunting, the gradual method is still an effective one.
Just make sure to have a clear plan in mind and lean on people, like your friends, your family or a therapist.
Quitting smoking is really f*cking hard. But with the right information and tools, you can do it.
Trust me, your future self will thank you.
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