A new study confirms what many people may have already assumed to be true – that products such as nicotine gum and nicotine patches don’t really help smokers quit. In the journal Tobacco Control, researchers report that the nicotine patches and nicotine gum products work for a few months at best, but are no more effective than cold turkey when it comes to helping people quit smoking long term.
To determine the effectiveness of the patch and gum, researchers studied 787 adult smokers located in Massachusetts. They were followed between 2001 and 2006, and all of them had quit smoking prior to the study. During the 5 year time period they were followed, they had to answer questionnaires three different times revealing if they started smoking again or not. With an even distribution between usage of nicotine replacements, those combining nicotine replacement with counseling, and those who didn’t use any nicotine replacement strategies, about 1/3 of the participants relapsed at each of the three survey periods.
Although the addictive aspect of nicotine makes it difficult for smokers to quit, quitting can be done once you make the conscious decision to be a non-smoker instead of a smoker. Nicotine replacement products only provide a minor boost until the decision to quit is finally made. Skip the ineffective nicotine replacement products and avoid pharmaceutical stop-smoking pills and remember to consider a few things when trying to quit.
- Simply stop smoking – You are in control of your own life and all the decisions you make. Quitting can be easy once this truth is realized and you finally make the decision to quit.
- Cut down on smoking – If you still don’t think you can do it cold turkey, try to stop smoking through gradual reduction. Cold turkey can be difficult for some people, and so cutting down may be a good option for everyone around you. One of the best tools for quitting is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
- When you quit smoking you will experience immediate and long term benefits you probably never knew about.
- Make an attempt to cut out other sources of stress in your life. Again, this can be achieved using EFT. Smokers often turn to a cigarettes because they feel “stressed”, so minimizing stress inducing activities or events can help you cut down, sometimes without you even realizing it.
- Purchase an air purifier for your home. This will reduce toxins emitted from cigarettes, as well as from all other sources.
- Smoking isn’t cheap. To smoke not only means to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year, but also sheds years off your life.