Is cold turkey the only way to quit?

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 May 2005, 17:38 #11

I just pulled a string where a few days back a member wrote asking what our opinion of hypnosis was and where John attached the following review. Then, days later another member wrote that she used hypnosis and found it helpful.

I am attaching the comments here in this string for in many ways it is addressing the same issue. Are there some people who you will encounter over your lifetime who have quit by hypnosis, or acupuncture, or other alternative treatments? Sure there are. But for every one person who has successfully pulled off a quit by using these techinques there are dozens or maybe hundreds who have failed.

At Freedom we work on a different premise than most other sites. Most sites will endorse promoting the concept of try what ever works for some people, even if the suggested technique only works for only a small percent of people who try it. We work on the premise of utilizing strategies that have been used by most people who have successfully quit smoking.

Other posts addressing this issue are The Teaching of Conventional Wisdom at Freedom and "Do whatever it takes to quit smoking".
From: John (Gold) Sent: 5/25/2005 7:47 PM
Lou, I'm attaching what is so far the definitive authority on the effectiveness of hypnosis as an aid to smoking cessation. It is cited as the leading authority in the U.S. Dept. of Health's June 2000 Guideline.


From The Cochrane Library, Issue 2, 2005. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.

Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation (Cochrane Review)
Abbot NC, Stead LF, White AR, Barnes J
ABSTRACT
A substantive amendment to this systematic review was last made on 18 February 1998. Cochrane reviews are regularly checked and updated if necessary.

Background: Hypnotherapy is widely promoted as a method for aiding smoking cessation. It is proposed to act on underlying impulses to weaken the desire to smoke or strengthen the will to stop.

Objectives: The objective of this review was to evaluate the effects of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation.

Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group Specialized Register and the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED, SCI, SSCI and CISCOM using the terms smoking cessation and hypnotherapy or hypnosis in February 2005.

Selection criteria: We considered randomized trials of hypnotherapy which reported smoking cessation rates at least six months after the beginning of treatment.

Data collection and analysis: Two authors extracted data on the type of subjects, the type and duration of the hypnotherapy, the nature of the control group,the outcome measures, method of randomization, and completeness of follow up.The main outcome measure was abstinence from smoking after at least six months follow up in patients smoking at baseline. We used the most rigorous definition of abstinence in each trial, and biochemically validated rates where available. Those lost to follow up were counted as smokers. Where possible, we performed meta-analysis using a fixed-effect model.

Main results: Nine studies compared hypnotherapy with 14 different control interventions. There was significant heterogeneity between the results of the individual studies, with conflicting results for the effectiveness of hypnotherapy compared to no treatment or to advice. We therefore did not attempt to calculate pooled odds ratios for the overall effect of hypnotherapy. There was no evidence of an effect of hypnotherapy compared to rapid smoking or psychological treatment.

Authors' conclusions: We have not shown that hypnotherapy has a greater effect on six month quit rates than other interventions or no treatment. The effects of hypnotherapy on smoking cessation claimed by uncontrolled studies were not confirmed by analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Citation: Abbot NC, Stead LF, White AR, Barnes J. Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1998, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD001008. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001008.


This is an abstract of a regularly updated, systematic review prepared and maintained by the Cochrane Collaboration. The full text of the review is available in The Cochrane Library (ISSN 1465-1858).
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Abstracts of Cochrane Reviews are compiled and produced by Update Software Ltd[/size] on behalf of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.[/size][/size]
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

14 Aug 2005, 23:00 #12

Being that I am bringing up materials on cold turkey quitting, I think it is important that I keep this article also up near the top. We have never said that cold turkey is the only way to quit smoking, although we are quoted as saying it often.
The comment that we often make is that contrary to popular belief, cold turkey is the method employed by most successful quitters and that it is the method that gives people the best chance of succeess.

The first part of that comment is likely to be accepted by most people, but the second half is likely to be dismissed by many experts in the field. Our mission here at Freedom is not to try to convince the rest of the world to adopt our views though--it is to help every person who finds their way to us to see that quitting smoking is possible and staying free is totally doable for any person who simply quits smoking and then sticks to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Sep 2005, 22:38 #13

I like to bring this one up whenever I bring up cold turkey articles.

I just wrote the following commentary in the post So how did most successful ex-smokers actually quit?:

I see where a member who just made her one year anniversary commented on how she originally felt that she had a slim chance of success considering that she read that only ten percent of people who quit smoking cold turkey succeed till six months and only five percent make it for a year.

She is right, that statement is written and quoted all over the Internet and in lots of professional publications. Kind of gives the impression that quitting cold turkey is quite improbable and makes the recipient of the message almost think it is a total waste of time to even attempt to quit since the odds of success are so small. It pretty much sounds like quitting smoking is a futile effort and that there must not be many successful ex-smokers out in the world today.

Well, any person who bothers to go out in the world and actually talks to people are in for a surprise. There are plenty of successful ex-smokers in the world and the vast majority quit by going cold turkey.

In America today we have more former smokers than current smokers. Over 46 million Americans have quit smoking. (For anyone who thinks it is impossible to quit smoking) It has to be obvious to all that people are able to quit smoking. As this article discusses the vast majority of the long-term ex-smokers did in fact quit by going cold turkey.

People who succeed by following the advice given at this board are not indicative of a few isolated success stories. They are just another small group among the tens of millions of other people in the world who have quit smoking and then discovered that they were able to stay free as long as they stuck to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

04 Nov 2005, 18:15 #14

I am starting to see where cold turkey quitting is starting to get bashed pretty heavily in the media. One of the techniques that is being used is having smoking experts come out and say that while everyone seems to know one person who has quit cold turkey, that most people just cannot quit this way. They are trying now to undercut the real world examples that people are inevitably exposed to since since this is the way that most people have successfully quit smoking. I would agree that if a person just seemed to know only one person who had successfully quit smoking by a certain technique, it would be a clear sign that maybe the technique was not very successful. The issue is that if people go through the trouble of finding out what technique was used by ALL of the people they know who had quit smoking, they would most likely find that most if not all of them were in fact cold turkey quitters.



Here is the standard commentary I use when addressing the issue of talking to ex-smokers: I really do encourage all people to take this survey, talking to long-term ex-smokers in their real world. People who you knew when they were smokers, who you knew when they were quitting and who you still know as being successful long-term ex-smokers. The more people you talk to the more obvious it will become how people quit smoking and how people stay off of smoking. Again, people quit smoking by simply quitting smoking and people stay off of smoking by simply knowing that to stay smoke free that they must never take another puff!

Again, go talk to as many long-term successful ex-smokers (people off all forms of nicotine for at least a year or longer) in your real world that you can find and find out how they quit. I don't believe that there is a single professional smoking cessation NRT advocate who will suggest to their patients that they take a similar survey. For if they did their credibility would be called into question almost immediately when the patient starting seeing the results of their real life survey.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Nov 2005, 22:01 #15

Being that we are two days past Thanksgiving here in America, a lot of people are probably getting a little tired of "cold turkey." While some people may find it becomes a little mundane for another meal, it is still a great recipe for successful quitting. So today, whether you are quitting cold turkey (the food) or cold turkey the technique, just your smoking quit will be staying strong and secure as long as you stick with your personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Jan 2006, 21:03 #16

I really do encourage all people to take this survey, talking to long-term ex-smokers in their real world. People who you knew when they were smokers, who you knew when they were quitting and who you still know as being successful long-term ex-smokers. The more people you talk to the more obvious it will become how people quit smoking and how people stay off of smoking. Again, people quit smoking by simply quitting smoking and people stay off of smoking by simply knowing that to stay smoke free that they must never take another puff!

Again, go talk to as many long-term successful ex-smokers (people off all forms of nicotine for at least a year or longer) in your real world that you can find and find out how they quit. I don't believe that there is a single professional smoking cessation NRT advocate who will suggest to their patients that they take a similar survey. For if they did their credibility would be called into question almost immediately when the patient starting seeing the results of their real life survey. They will end up having to spend quite a bit of time trying to explain away the discrepancy, using excuses like the people who used NRT didn't use it right or didn't use it long enough or were more addicted smokers.

We don't need to spend time trying to explain away the results of the surveys that people will do in there real world settings. All we have to say is the results make it more and more obvious that the way to quit smoking and to stay successfully free is no more complicated than just making and sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

25 Nov 2006, 04:20 #17

I saw acupuncture was mentioned by one of our new members. The above comment addresses any quitting product or service:

There are people who have quit using alternative approaches. There are some who cut down gradually and actually succeeded at quitting. For every person who did it like this and succeeded, there are many many many many others who tried it and failed. The individual who used the method will think it is great because it worked for him or her, but since it works for so few people it will generally be recognized as a pretty ineffective technique by most people who do "real world" research into how to quit.
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Sharry
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Dec 2006, 02:41 #18

Through personal experience the answer is - YES. No ifs no buts.

Sharry

I have been quit for 1 Week, 5 Days, 11 hours, 47 minutes and 8 seconds (12 days). I have saved £37.47 by not smoking 187 cigarettes. I have saved 15 hours and 35 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 04/12/2006 07:54
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TOM DPLN1 GOLD
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

21 Dec 2006, 22:36 #19

Much money is being made in the private sector by selling NRT products.
Therefore there are no advocates in the private sector promoting "Cold
Turkey" because there is no money to be made by it.

Tom
36 months
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

11 Nov 2007, 21:50 #20

I saw a new member who mentioned that she once quit for three years by being hypnotized. I am going to pop up a few post that address this issue.
From above, with a little modification:
There are a few people though whom you may encounter over your lifetime that did quit by being hypnotized. If the person is now off for years, he or she is pretty much in the same state as a person who had quit cold turkey. He or she is nicotine free, and he or she should be thrilled by that fact.

Again, debating the merits of their method with them is pretty much a moot point. It worked for them and you are going to have a pretty hard time convincing them that it is an ineffective method. But you do have a message that you can share with them that they do need to know. That message is that even though they are off nicotine for years, they still need to recognize that they are not cured of nicotine addiction and never will be. No matter how they had stopped, they must still understand the bottom line message, that the only way to stay free now is staying totally committed to never administer nicotine again via any nicotine replacement source and to never administer nicotine again from the original source that likely started the whole process by knowing to never take another puff!
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