‘Going cold turkey is the best way to quit’

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PEOPLE looking to quit smoking are more likely to succeed if the go ‘cold turkey’ by stopping abruptly, a study has revealed.

Volunteers who ditched cigarettes altogether were 25 per cent more likely to remain abstinent six months from the date they gave up than those who tried to quit gradually, researched from Annals of Internal Medicine showed.

In the British Heart Foundation-funded study, almost 700 of the volunteers were randomly assigned to one of two groups – a gradual quit group or an immediate quit group.

After six months, 15.5 per cent of the participants in the gradual decline group were abstinent compared with 22 per cent in those forced to stop smoking abruptly.

Even though more people in the study said they preferred the idea of quitting gradually than abruptly, individuals were still more likely to stop for good in the abrupt group.

The news has been welcomed by Hampshire County Council’s executive member for health and public health Patricia Stallard.

She said the council had a range of help for people looking to quit smoking and added: ‘Everyone has their own individual psychology. We have to look at the needs of the individual to help them.’