Trying to Quit Smoking? Don't Go Cold Turkey
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Trying to Quit Smoking? Don’t Go Cold Turkey

Stoptober, a government and NHS scheme to help people kick their cigarette or tobacco habit, has been hugely successful. Year after year, people give up smoking for good with advice, help, and a combination of over-the-counter medicine. Yet many people attempt this feat without such help. It’s good that people are willing to try, but recently, it was announced that the worst possible way to give up smoking is to go ‘cold turkey’,  as in through deprivation and willpower alone. This October, the NHS is calling on people to engage with Stoptober services to quit through tried and tested methods and to quit for good.

Statistics Show Greater Success with Help

NHS bosses have recently issued the results of a report. It suggested, like many that have gone before it, that just 4% of those who opt for a cold turkey approach last no more than 12 months. The majority have relapsed and returned to their old smoking habit. Greater success has been reported by those using nicotine replacement such as lozenges and patches. This registered a 1.5-time increase in quitting success. However, none were quite as successful as a combination of available methods through NHS services, especially the ‘Stop Smoking’ Clinics. Success rates were four times higher again.

This was a report issued by Public Health England.

Smoking Statistics

Quitting smoking with nicotine patches
Nicotine replacement products take the edge off your cravings to help you quit smoking.

There have been some encouraging statistics since last Stoptober:

  • Last year alone, some 400,000 smokers quit in England. This is 10,069 every day or one every 80 seconds. As already mentioned, this is not a huge cause for celebration when so many are relapsing without adequate support.
  • One million fewer people in England smoke compared to 2014. It’s also been noted that of the 6.1 million smokers, 60% want to quit. Most will try to use willpower alone and that, believe the government and health chiefs, is doomed to failure in the overwhelming majority of cases.
  • 51% of those who engaged with NHS Stop Smoking services in 2017 and so far this year have managed to stop smoking. There is an even higher success of 63% (almost every 2 out of 3 people) when using e-cigarettes to reduce nicotine dependency.

New Services for Stoptober 2018

Encouraged by the success of the current programme, Stoptober will offer more ways to quit smoking this year. Public Health England recently announced a free online quit plan called Personal Quit Plan. It asks the user questions and then offers practical, tailored advice to your demographic and personal habit. The plan will consider your past history with attempts to quit smoking and show resources in your area as well as alternative ways of giving up.

Mostly, it will advise that you see a health professional about NRT products. Alternatives that may be suggested to you include the new range of inhalers and lozenges that will take the edge off cravings. There are many available and they have, to date, shown to be the most effective of all.

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