Want to Quit Smoking? Seek Professional Help

Posted December 20th, 2013 at 7:31 pm (UTC+0)
5 comments

It can be tough for long time smokers to refuse a cigarette (U.S. Air Force via Wikimedia Commons)

(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

If your New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking, you might want to consider what scientists in England have learned.  According to their study published in  Addiction, smokers who want to kick the habit are better off seeking the help of a trained advisor, rather than doing it themselves.

The researchers found self-help aids such as nicotine patches, gum or other products, do not improve the chances of quitting smoking. They used data from the “Smoking Toolkit Study,” a large ongoing research project that’s been conducted since 2007. The UK project follows current smokers as well as those who recently quit smoking.

The researchers wanted to find out which smoking cessation methods were the most successful. So, they analyzed the responses to survey questions answered by more than 10,000 Britons who had tried to stop smoking over the prior year.

The results showed that smokers who use services provided by smoking cessation advisors, often offered by health care organizations, have the best chance of successfully kicking their smoking habit.

The study also points out that over-the-counter therapies, such as the nicotine patches and gum, alone might not be as beneficial as they may think.

Those who try to quit smoking using a combination of specialized behavioral support, along with anti-smoking medicine or nicotine replacement products, are three times more likely to be successful than those who try to stop smoking on their own.

Health experts say smoking can be hazardous to your health (CDC via Wikipedia Commons)

(Graphic: CDC via Wikipedia Commons)

In fact, the researchers found that smokers who only use over-the-counter smoking cessation aids, without the help of a trained advisors, have the same rate of success as those who didn’t use any of those quit-smoking products at all.

“When you think that stopping smoking saves six hours of life for every day of smoking avoided, investing an hour or two over a 6 week period to see…[a] stop smoking advisor seems like a good investment,” said Robert West from University College London, who led the team of researchers. “They can provide cheaper medicine than is available in shops and advise how to use it properly. It’s crazy that not all smokers who want to stop do it. As far as nicotine products bought from shops are concerned, there is an urgent need to understand what is going on because we know that if these products are used properly, they can be effective.”

5 Responses to “Want to Quit Smoking? Seek Professional Help”

  1. […] The researchers wanted to find out which smoking cessation methods were the most successful.So, they analyzed the responses to survey questions answered by more than 10,000 Britons who had tried to stop smoking over the prior year. The results showed that smokers who use services provided by smoking cessation advisors, oftenoffered byhealth care organizations, have the best chance of successfully kicking their smoking habit. The study also points out that over-the-counter therapies, such as the nicotine patches and gum, alone might not be as beneficial as they may think. Those who try to quit smoking using a combination of specialized behavioral support ,along with anti-smoking medicine or nicotine replacement products, are three times more likely to be successful than those who try to stop smoking on their own. (Graphic: CDC via Wikipedia Commons) In fact, the researchers found that smokers who only use over-the-counter smoking cessation aids , without the help of a trained advisors, have the same rate of success as those who didnt use any of those quit-smoking products at all. When you think that stopping smoking saves six hours of life for every day of smoking avoided, investing an hour or two over a 6 week period to see[a] stop smoking advisor seems like a good investment, said Robert West from University College London , who led the team of researchers. To read the source source including any supplementary images or video, visit http://blogs.voanews.com/science-world/2013/12/20/want-to-quit-smoking-seek-professional-help/ […]

  2. Cranksy says:

    Good Luck! to all of those who have read this Science World post as part of their effort to stop smoking.

  3. Did It says:

    3 years!! Best thing I did was go cold turkey. Realize that thousands of people have gone through exactly what you are experiencing. They were able to do it, so can you. Stiffen your spine and grow a pair, nothing in life is easy or pain free. It is not as hard as it is made out to be. That was my big revelation. Once the nicotine was out of my system the rest was habituated behavior. You recognize it, give it a few minutes, it goes away, you are still sane, still alive, and don’t need that smoke. Again, after 30 years, @2 1/2 to 3 packs a day best advice is just do it, you won’t die or go crazy.

  4. Neil says:

    In my own efforts to quit I tried over the counter products – lozenges and a mouth spray (Nicotinell), and I tried prescribed medication through my GP (zyban), both worked short term but I started again. E-cigs have worked long term for me, it may not be as healthy as quitting nicotine entirely but it is certainly a lot healthier than smoking tobacco, and since it’s a direct replacement rather than any attempt at weaning yourself off, I’ve never really been tempted to go back to actual cigarettes. I’d recommend trying it for anyone having trouble quitting by other methods.

  5. Kathy says:

    Quitting smoking was THE hardest thing I ever did. 32 years of smoking, ending at 2 packs a day. I had to learn to accept the cravings instead of fighting them, accept & reject the constant thoughts of “just one,” not add to the difficulty by dwelling on “how nice it would be to smoke,” and to stick it out no matter how long it took.
    I went thru depression, panic attacks, weight gain – all worth it. I LOVE not having thoughts of smoking (12 years later), and the daily gratitude for the freedom I have today from nicotine is indescribable. I got help from a support website & Nicotine Anonymous, a 12-step program. I hope this helps give someone the help to make it thru another 24 hours. You can quit smoking and you are not alone in your journey.

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