As per a new research by Dr.Nicola Lindson-Hawley and her team, that is published in Annals of Internal Medicine reports, ‘cold turkey’ is the best option to quit smoking.

American Cancer Society states that 50 percent of the smokers who keep smoking die from smoking-related illnesses. In the U.S alone, 1 out of 5 deaths result from tobacco, use and more than 16 million people are seen suffering from smoking-related diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.

The U.S Surgeon General says that quitting smoking is the only step that smokers can take for enhancing the quality and length of their lives. Current guidelines recommend that people must choose a quiet day for stopping smoking. Dr. Nicola Lindson Hawley told that for the majority of people quitting smoking is cutting down gradually till it is finished. This is how realistic goals are accomplished. However, smoking, unlike other addictions, should be stopped all at once.

For this study, around 697 smokers with smoking were assigned into 1 out of 2 groups. One which would quit cold turkey and other that reduced smoking gradually by 75 percent in 2 weeks before quitting.

Behavioral support was received by both the groups of nurses, and they had access to nicotine replacement therapy such as mouth spray or nicotine gum or nicotine patches before as well as after the quit day.

Then, the participants were assessed weekly and then again after six months. Not only were volunteers asked about the progress, but even the amount of carbon monoxide that they were breathing out was measured.

As per the results it was seen that in the 4th week, 39 percent of gradual quitters stayed off tobacco and 49 percent of ‘cold turkey’ group. After six months, just 15 percent in the continuous group remained abstinent and 22 percent for those who quit immediately.



  1. I think the reason why cutting back isn’t as successful is because it’s not dealing with the neural pathways that you develop when you smoke on a daily basis. All the associations are still there and being maintained by continuing to regularly smoke when you try to cut back. Quitting abruptly forces you to confront and rewrite them. People who don’t smoke every day might have some success with that method though