Going cold turkey is the most popular way of getting rid of smoking, according to a study carried out by the University of Sydney Department of Public Health researches. Since nearly 60 percent of smokers managed to quit smoking permanently through this method, the scientists wanted to find out why.
The study is performed by a team of researchers, led by Dr. Sally Dunlop, who is specializing in the determinants of behaviors related to health. The objectives of the study were identified as investigation of causes and ways why cigarette smokers opt for different methods for quitting smoking.
Officially named as ‘unassisted cessation‘ this method of quitting is considered the most effective and successful way to stop smoking. However, Dr. Dunlop believes this method has not been studied and used as together with other methods of smoking cessation applied across the nation.
“Both before and after the introduction of nicotine replacement therapies and other medicinal methods of quitting smoking, unassisted cessation has been proven to be the method with the highest rate of smokers who overcome their smoking addiction”, said Dr Dunlop. “We assume the scientific and health community should pay more attention to the role of unassisted cessation method on reducing smoking rates across the nation”.
The research will focus on the data from surveys of ex-smokers who have gave up smoking for a minimal period of 12 months and maximal of 5 years, concentrating more on those smokers who have more than 2,5 years of permanent abstinence.
“In addition, we are going to survey a smaller group of smokers who are trying to stop smoking cold turkey during the period of study,” admitted Dr Dunlop.
Co-leader of the research, Prof. Simon Chapman, from Sydney Medical School, stated Australia has recently implemented the most comprehensive tobacco control strategy in the world. The government’s objective of reducing smoking rate to 10% by 2020 could be too optimistic, yet, could be reached n case scientists would fully understand why such ways of smoking cessation are the most efficient.
“If we are able to understand the reasons why the unassisted cessation is found to be effective for most former smokers, we would be able to elaborate comprehensive effective and create tobacco control policies in the future, as well as helpful support mechanisms for those smokers who are willing to give up cigarettes,” the scientist said.
Recent NSW reports demonstrate that, of all smokers and former smokers who tried to quit smoking recently, nearly 40 percent admitted using nicotine replacement medications, almost 10 percent admitted calling the Quitline, and only 5 percent went to smoking cessation clinics.
“Present male lung cancer rates were previously reported in 1962, and corresponding rates among women will never get closer to the record rates once reached in men,” declared Professor Chapman.
However, with more than 15 percent of people being regular smokers, it is high time to discover more about the method which most ex-smokers used to quit.
The 24-month-study, which starts this month, has been sponsored by National Council on Health and Medical Research.