Those smokers, who gradually reduce the number of cigarettes they consume, are less likely to get rid of this addiction than those who quit smoking immediately and quickly. British scientists reported such investigation in their article in an academic medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
In order to carry out her research, Nicola Lindsay-Hawley recruited 697 smoking volunteers and divided them into two groups. All of them were asked to stop smoking on one and the same day. However, the first group simply didn’t smoke cigarettes at all, while the second one was preparing for the "X-Day" during two weeks by reducing their tobacco consumption. In addition, all the volunteers had equal access to various nicotine patches and bubble gums.
After the "X-Day", the researchers asked the volunteers about their success in quitting smoking. Furthermore, the investigators measured concentrations of carbon monoxide in the breath of the participants (as in this way, the smoker’s health condition can be evaluated objectively).
It turned out that 49% of members of the first group refused to smoke tobacco in four weeks. At the same time, 39% of people who belonged to the second group (those who were quitting smoking gradually) did the same. However, scientists warn that their findings can be mainly applied to those who want to give up smoking as soon as possible. Perhaps, people with other psychological features will feel more comfortable to get rid of the bad habit step by step.