Abruptly weaning cigarettes brings the most success
Are you one of those people who have tried unsuccessfully several times? Then there is good news for you now. Scientists found the best way to quit smoking altogether. However, they might not like the answer because the experts say that stopping abruptly offers the best opportunities. Of course, this type of weaning also includes the dreaded cold withdrawal with all its side effects.
If you plan to quit smoking, you will have a much better chance if you stop smoking abruptly from one day to the next. This was the conclusion reached by scientists from the University of Oxford when they attempted to determine which method was most successful in overcoming tobacco addiction. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Annals of Internal Medicine".
Scientists recommend abruptly weaning cigarettes
In recent years, acceptance for smokers has continued to decline. Smoking is generally not as common as it was 20 years ago. It is not surprising that more and more smokers are trying to finally quit. But how do you best manage weaning? Stop abruptly or slowly continue to dose down? Scientists from the University of Oxford found the answer to this question in a study. The experts found that abrupt cold withdrawal is the best way to quit smoking.
The study observed almost 800 smokers smoking
For the study, which ran from June 2009 to December 2011, the researchers recruited 796 people who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day. These subjects had to be willing to quit smoking after participating in the study for two weeks, the researchers explain. The smokers were randomly divided into two groups. One group should stop smoking abruptly. The other group should gradually stop smoking, the doctors explain. The second group should reduce smoking by 50 percent during the first week, reduce smoking by another 25 percent in the second week, and then give up smoking altogether. Both groups were supported and medical professionals provided advice to help those affected quit smoking. Participants also had access to long-acting nicotine patches and various short-acting nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine chewing gum and nicotine oral spray, the experts said.
Abrupt non-smokers showed better results
The participants were examined weekly for four weeks and then again after six months, the doctors explain. With each assessment, they were asked how successful their weaning was and whether they had experienced any symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. To allow an objective determination of progress made, the researchers also measured the amount of carbon monoxide exhaled by the subjects and the amount of cotinine in their saliva (cotinine is a marker of exposure to tobacco smoke). After four weeks, 39 percent of participants who should slowly quit smoking still didn't smoke. In the group of smokers who quit abruptly, the value was as high as 49 percent, say the experts. After six weeks, the gradual weaning group was 15.5 percent, compared to 22 percent in the other group, doctors added.
Get help to quit smoking
Most people gradually prefer to quit smoking, even though they were more likely to reach the end in the group of abruptly quitting smokers, says lead author Nicola Lindson-Hawley of the University of Oxford. Although the study found abrupt cessation to be the more effective method, the authors point out that gradually weaning cigarettes can make sense if more people get help and medication to support their attempt. (as)