What ever you do don't quit cold turkey

Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

April 1st, 2012, 1:18 pm #1

Being that it's April 1 and many sites around the Internet on various different topics will employ an age old tactic of creating ridiculous titles and bogus articles as standard fare to pull off an April fools day prank on their readers.

I figured it would be a good time to create a string that covers the ridiculousness of this concept being that is sadly being taught every day in a serious manner by some quit smoking sites and more sadly by a lot of experts in the field of tobacco control.

Cold turkey, the method that has always been employed by most successful quitters in the world, is often bashed as being the worst possible way that an individual should try to quit smoking.There are some recent tactics being employed by experts in tobacco control, where the description of cold turkey quitting is being redefined in a manner to make sure that research and studies try their best to minimize highlighting this fact.

I'm hoping John will happen in here soon and attach some recent findings he came across, where there were survey tools were developed by researchers trying to determine how people successfully quit smoking. A list was produced with something like 20 different methods trying to determine how people actually stop smoking. What was truly amazing about the survey tool was that cold turkey quitting was not even an option.

Another recent technique designed to downplay the fact that cold turkey is the most successful technique available for quitting smoking that's been popping up recently is the redefining of the term cold turkey. In order to make cold turkey seem less successful there are experts who are saying cold turkey simply means not using medication. Meaning if you cut down you are a cold turkey quitter. Bottom line is that a whole lot more people try cutting down than try to go going cold turkey. It just sounds easier and more logical to do to them. Of course, those people usually fail. You pool those numbers together with cold turkey by this redefinition, and it generally makes it appear that “cold turkey” is a pretty unsuccessful method.

Then, what I think maybe my favorite recent ploy, are those who consider cold turkey to only mean unassisted quitting. What this one does is makes it where anyone who gets help in any way to quit smoking, such as coming to a site like FFN, or reading at WhyQuit.com, or reading a book that says you should quit cold turkey, or going to a doctor who advises a person to quit cold turkey, well those people who do quit don't really quit cold turkey. They quit by reading going to a website, or reading a book, or by physician advice. Those people shouldn’t be considered cold turkey quitters.

So I'm assembling a number of links to videos and articles we have covering this topic. No April fools prank here, just exposing the kind of ridiculous techniques out there trying to downplay what is the technique which is going to give people their best chance of quitting that they will ever have. To quit smoking's is no more complicated or complex than just that making and sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff.


The video Cold turkey quitting defined also explains issues discussed in this string.
Last edited by Joel Spitzer on December 30th, 2014, 11:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

April 1st, 2012, 1:20 pm #2

Last edited by Joel Spitzer on April 1st, 2012, 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: November 11th, 2008, 7:22 pm

April 1st, 2012, 4:19 pm #3

Talk about fooling smokers.  Yes, it's sad what we're seeing now, Joel, as financially conflicted researchers do the quitting products industry's bidding, as they attempt to redefine cold turkey out of existence.  

They know that each year more long-term ex-smokers are quitting cold turkey than by all other methods combined.  So how do you hide millions upon millions of successful cold turkey quitters?   You redefine quitting to cold turkey from simply meaning abrupt nicotine cessation to quitting in ignorance and darkness without any help whatsoever. 

You declare that any smoker who has visited WhyQuit, read Joel's ebook Never Take Another Puff or who spent time reading support messages here at Freedom is no longer a cold turkey quitter but an assisted quitter.

If you think I'm kidding, take a look at the following quitting method question being asked by the UK's most harma conflicted researcher, as part of the UK's largest ongoing quitting method study, a series of studies funded in part by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer.

As you read through the options keep in mind that the person who wrote the question is is fully aware that cold turkey is by far the UK's most popular and productive quitting method:   Which, if any, of the following did you try to help you stop smoking during the most recent serious quit attempt?

1.  Nicotine replacement product (eg. patches/gum/inhaler) without a prescription
2.  Nicotine replacement product on prescription or given to you by a health professional
3. Zyban (bupropion)
4. Champix (varenicline)
5. Attended an NHS Stop Smoking group
6. Attended a non-NHS smoking support group
7. Attended one or more NHS Stop Smoking one-to-one support session/s
8. Attended a non-NHS one-to-one support
9. Phoned NHS Smoking Helpline
10. Phoned a non-NHS Smoking Helpline
11. Attended a private quitting session [name omitted to comply with Freedom's rules]
12. Use of a named quitting book [ name omitted to comply with Freedom's rules]
13. Another book or booklet
14. Visited the NHS quitting website
15. Visited a website other than the NHS quitting website
16. Hypnotherapy
17. Acupuncture
18. Don't Know
19. Nothing
20. Other

Imagine listing medications first and then making users of the most popular quitting method wait until hearing all 20 options and then scratching their head while the decide whether to pick choice 19 or 20, nothing or other.   Imagine listing hypnotherapy but not cold turkey. Imagine choice 15 declaring all who visit WhyQuit or Freedom as no longer being cold turkey quitters but instead web-assisted quitters.  Imagine choice 13 declaring the more than 3 million who read Joel's free ebook to not be cold turkey quitters but instead smokers who quit by use of self-help materials.

The tactic is simple.  In order to ensure that we never again see studies such as Doran 2006 hand victory to cold turkey quitting, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16503093, if you can't beat cold turkey then you need to define it out of existence. 

Is cold turkey about to become an endangered species?  No need to worry just yet but clearly they're trying!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John - Gold x12


April 1st, 2012, 8:46 pm #4

Really interesting stuff. Thanks.Here in the UK NRT is shoved down your throat. 
If you go to any NHS stop smoking classes it is literally the only option. Even friends who had quit cold turkey were offered NRT products for free by so called smoking cessation experts. Why on earth would it be a good idea to give someone who has detoxed from nicotine some more nicotine in another delivery device? I know from my own experience that cold turkey is the only thing that has worked for me
. After I quit smoking cold turkey I searched the internet to find information on symptoms and how long they would go on for and I found this website and whyquit. I'm so glad because it strengthened my resolve to stay 100% nicotine free.

Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

April 1st, 2013, 2:03 pm #5

You would think that such a title was written just as an April Fools joke. Sadly it is not, it is the standard advice given by many if not most experts in the field of smoking cessation. It is the advice that is often shared at quit sites throughout the internet. With April 1 here again, figured I would add in the videos added this year that ties into this string:

Be prepared for confusing information
Our views on the need for harm reduction
Who should you believe?
Is cold turkey the only way to quit?

Sharing our materials at other quit sites
Reading at other quit sites
Last edited by Joel Spitzer on April 1st, 2013, 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

December 30th, 2014, 11:40 pm #6