Make a list of all the things you like about smoking, remind yourself of difficult feats you accomplished successfully in the past, picture yourself playing tennis, drink herbal teas: the world has a lot of suggestions on how help the addicted quit smoking and to do it for good.
But a new study out of Britain is tossing some of those ideas in the dumpster and saying that the most effective way involves something else. Researchers are now saying that the best way to go about quitting smoking may be to simply quit cold turkey.
How was this crazy conclusion drawn? Through a study, of course. Funded by the British Heart Foundation, the new study had 700 participants placed into two groups- one was filled with people who would quit gradually, and the other was formed of those who would try to give up smoking all at once.
What was found? After six months, 22% of the group that had stopped smoking abruptly had still not smoked a cigarette at all, compared with just 15% of the gradual quitters. Proof, again, that if you’re going to go swimming, the best way to get in is to jump. Who uses those ladders, anyways?
Well, some people. But then they have to find the steps and try not to trip going down, and really, it’s too much, and so most people just end up sitting on the wet tiles of the pool border, gathering planters warts, as Dr Nicola Lindson-Hawley, who is from Oxford University and lead researcher on the study, explained to bbc.com.
“The difference in quit attempts seemed to arise because people struggled to cut down. It provided them with an extra thing to do, which may have put them off quitting altogether.”
It definitely is better to cut down some, experts still admit, than to not quit at all. That being said, this evidence shows that quitting everything at once, (no silly e-cigarettes), does seem to be the most effective approach.
Other tips? In addition to committing to quitting in one go, experts advise seeing a doctor for advice on available support and resources and setting a convenient quit date.
Using tips on managing your emotional ups and downs as you quit can also help in the adjustment period, and coaching your partner on how best to support you while quitting can be helpful.
An important key can also be pinpointing your reasons for quitting and finding your strongest motivator. Reminding yourself of those reasons in difficult times can help you stay the course.
For those interested, here are some encouraging stats:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010, 52.4% of adult smokers stopped smoking for at least 1 day during the previous 12 months because they were trying to quit, and since 2002, the number of former U.S. smokers has been greater than the number of people currently smoking.
For free resources on quitting smoking click here.
If you live all the way in that place called Canada, click here for local support.