Quit smoking cold turkey success rates

I have been thinking about why people think that quitting smoking cold turkey has such a low success rate. I think I have come up with an answer too. To understand what I mean it is important to understand what I mean by quit smoking cold turkey.

To quit smoking cold turkey merely means that you should not be using any intervention other than verbal or written word. You should not be on varenicline, (chantix and champix), zyban (wellbutrin and bupropion), nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, tabs, nasal sprays or inhalers. You should not be using acupuncture, laser therapy, silver acetate sprays, aversion therapies, chain smoking, hypnosis, clonidine, opoid antagonists, anxiolytics, anti-depressants, nicocure, nicobrevin, lobeline or mecamylamine – to mention a ‘phew’ of the options!

To quit smoking cold turkey, all you should be using is education and knowledge and that is the key.

Most people think to quit smoking cold turkey as just stopping smoking one day, without any help, support or education. But it shouldn’t be like that. It should involve education and support.

I promise you that every time I tried to just quit smoking, out of the blue, I would fail miserably. Even when I read all the pamphlets and advice from my doctor and the stuff in the nicotine patch packet, it didn’t help one bit.

Telling me why I should stop smoking is different from telling me how I should stop smoking!

I needed to know how and when I did, it was a cinch!

The reason why people think that quitting smoking cold turkey has such a low success rate is because it has never been studied properly. It is assumed that quitting smoking cold turkey just means trying to stop smoking using willpower alone. When you know how to quit smoking, you don’t need any willpower anyway, you just need to want to quit smoking.

In most studies, the ‘control group’ (the cold turkey group) are just told to quit smoking. They may be given some sugar pills or some sticky patches (without nicotine) but they are normally just left to their own devices. No surprise then that they all fail miserably with only about 5% successfully quitting.

There is a difference between just trying to abandon smoking and learning how to quit smoking. One you have learned how to quit smoking, your potential success rate rises to 100%. Let me use an analogy to explain.

Imagine sitting in front of an internet-enabled computer for the first time and being told you have 1 week to build a database of all the employees of a company with all the relevant details of pay and personal circumstances. Do you think you might need help?
Well, 5% of the population might just figure it out all by themselves but at least 95% wouldn’t and that is what quitting smoking is like. You are either lucky/smart/clever enough to figure out for yourself how to do it or you are like the rest of us who need to be pointed in the right direction.

It is important to realise why you should quit smoking. There are more medical reasons to quit smoking then for any other ailment. Smoking poisons your whole body, not just you lungs – virtually every aspect of your body and metabolism is affected by tobacco smoke. Knowing this gives you the motive to quit smoking. Understanding how to quit smoking cold turkey will give you the means to quit smoking and finally, you will need the opportunity. What most people don’t realise is that today is as good an opportunity as you will ever be presented with.

Never stop trying to quit.