Australians - most still quit smoking unassisted..

November 22, 2010 - Going ‘cold turkey’ – stopping smoking immediately and without product assistance – is still the most popular way of quitting among Australians, especially younger Australians.

A new survey from the Cancer Institute NSW of more than 1000 recent quitters will be presented today (Oct 8) to an international conference (Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health) in Sydney. The survey shows:

* Most Australians quit ‘cold turkey’ or by cutting down then quitting, reporting that these methods were helpful.
* ‘Cold turkey’ is by far the most popular method, 69% using it alone or with other methods.
* Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), and ‘cutting down then quitting’, are the next most popular, with 29% each.
* Younger quitters are more likely to stop smoking unassisted than older quitters.
* Older or less educated quitters are more likely to use assisted methods such as prescribed medication or general practitioner advice.

Lead author of the study, Dr Wai Tak (Arthur) Hung, said: “Our survey suggests that efforts to reduce the overall smoking rate in the Australian community can be best served by continuing to motivate smokers to quit through anti-tobacco mass media campaigns and to support smokers choosing ‘cold turkey’ and ‘cut down then quit’ approaches.

“We should also continue to assess the effectiveness and accessibility of other methods, to ensure a diversity of needs are met, such as smokers of disadvantaged backgrounds or those that prefer assisted methods.”

The Australian government is aiming to reduce the smoking rate by continuing to motivating smokers to quit smoking through mass multi-media campaigns. They also plan to put in place strategies to help smokers quitting ‘cold-turkey’ and who cut down before quitting, helping people to successfully kick the habit for good.

The findings from the research were presented at the Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health 2010, which was held in Sydney. - Maybe it's time to re-examine the various approaches in the treatment of nicotine addiction. It has been known for a while that nicotine may be a cancer promoter. Nicotine inhibits the bodies defense mechanism for destroying abnormal cells such as cancer cells thus contributing to the growth of an existing cancer. (Nicotine-mediated inhibition of apoptosis may contribute to the pathogenesis of tobacco-related cancer as well as decrease the efficacy of cancer therapies, Wright, S. C. et al., FASEB J. 7: 1045-1051; 1993.) Recently, a study has found that nicotine itself maybe one of the chemicals in cigarettes that can trigger the development of breast cancer. (PAPER: Nicotine in cigarettes linked to breast cancer..) Why introduce another foreign substance into your body like nicotine (e.g., like found in nicotine replacement therapies (NRT)) when it is not absolutely necessary??

References: Cold Turkey is Most Popular Way to Quit Smoking,, 10/18.2010; Most Australians still quit smoking unassisted - Study confirms preference for ‘cold turkey’, Cancer Council Australia, 10/8/2010 (This page was last updated on : Friday, 26 November 2010).