With the recent hard hitting anti-smoking campaigns, cigarette use is becoming very unpopular, leading many to consider kicking the habit. Despite all the options available some people still chose to opt out the old fashion way – quitting cold turkey. How can some people so easily quit, while most have a myriad of obstacles along the way, even picking the habit back up?
A recently published study in Medical Daily reported that “the consensus in the scientific field of tobacco control has put the rate of quitting smoking for extended lengths of time cold turkey at a miniscule three to five percent. Currently, a combination of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), prescription medication, and counseling is considered the gold standard in smoking cessation”. But a 2012 Harvard study negated that claiming that “long-term relapse rates of former smokers was similar between those who quit cold turkey and those who relied on NRT”.
So, which is really the most successful?
Unfortunately, both options present hurdles that require willpower and determination to overcome. Researchers suggest that if you plan to quit cold turkey, your genetics will likely play-in to whether or not you succeed. A New York Times study suggests that nearly 20 percent of the population has a gene that reduces the level of happiness felt by certain addictions when the addition is stopped, making it easier to quit without support. Conversely, reverting back to the findings in the Medical Daily report, the NRT method has shown higher success rates, but often for only short periods of time as the reliance on others (such as doctors or cessation programs) was often a burden.
Choosing an option that best suits your needs, goals and timeline often will help to narrow down which choice is best for you. No matter which is chosen the decision to quit is always a healthier one.