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How to Quit Smoking Now for Better Health

British researchers report that those who quit smoking all at once are less likely to have returned to smoking six months later.

Stopping smoking is one of the most important things people can do to improve their health, but what is the best approach, cold turkey or gradual withdrawal?

Why Cold Turkey Quitting Works Better:

A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that giving up cigarettes suddenly may be more effective than the slow approach. The research included almost 700 British adults who wanted to quit smoking. They were randomly assigned to gradually decrease their smoking 75 percent over two weeks or to quit smoking abruptly on the first day of the study intervention.

Nicotine Patches for All Who Quit Smoking:

Both groups got nicotine patches and counseling. Those cutting down gradually also got nicotine gum or lozenges to help them.

Following up at both one month and six months after quit day, the researchers found that at one month half of those who’d stopped cold turkey were no longer smoking, compared to 39 percent of the gradual quitters. At six months, 16 percent of the gradual quitters and 22 percent of the abrupt quitters were not smoking.

Smokers who want to quit may need to try several times. This study suggests that quitting all at once might work best. Our late friend Tom Ferguson, MD, author of the No-Nag, No-Guilt, Do-It-Your-Own-Way Guide to Quitting Smoking, would say that you should do what you think is best for you, on your own timeline.

Annals of Internal Medicine, March 14, 2016

8/27/18 redirected to:  https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/which-medicine-will-help-you-quit-smoking/

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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