Quitting smoking abruptly has best long-term results

People who quit smoking all at once are more likely to be successful than those who cut down on cigarettes gradually, according to a new study. “For many people, the obvious way to quit smoking is to cut down gradually until they stop,” said lead author Nicola Lindson-Hawley, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford in the U.K. “However, with smoking, the norm is to advise people to stop all at once and our study found evidence to support that,” Lindson-Hawley told Reuters Health by email. “What we found was that more people managed to quit when they stopped smoking all in one go than when they gradually reduced before quitting.”

The researchers randomly assigned almost 700 adult smokers to either an abrupt quitting or gradual reduction group. Each person set a “quit day” of two weeks after they entered the study, and saw a research nurse once a week until then. Half of people preferred to cut down gradually, a third preferred abrupt quitting and the rest had no preference before the study began, but preferences did not affect which group they were sorted into….more

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