Are you desperate to stop smoking but don’t know how to get that awful nicotine stained monkey off your back? Well science has the answer for you.
According to research conducted by Nicola Lindson-Hawley from the University of Oxford, and published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the best way to quit is to go cold turkey.
It may sound counter intuitive but Nicola’s study demonstrated that those who slowly ween themselves off cigarettes are more likely to relapse than those who stop abruptly.
For her study Nicola and her colleagues took 700 smokers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day and challenged them to quit smoking.
They all set a quit date for two weeks in the future and half of those were randomly assigned to smoke normally until their quit date, then to stop abruptly.
The other half were asked to gradually reduced their smoking over the two weeks until stopping on the final day.
Researchers measured success by looking at those who manged to stay away from cigs for four weeks after the quit date, and then six months later.
They found that after four weeks that those who suddenly stopped did 25 per cent better than gradual-cessation group when it came to stopping.
Additionally 49 per cent of the abrupt group were successful in quitting compared to just 39 per cent of the gradual group were.
After six months 22 per cent of those who went cold-turkey group hadn’t relapsed compared to the 15 per cent of the gradual group who kicked the habit.
Despite Nicola’s findings those taking part in the study said they preferred to quit gradually rather than going cold-turkey.
She added that the quit rate in the gradual group was still good and that if people want to quit gradually they should.