Quit Smoking Support
The Cold Turkey Approach to Quitting Smoking
If you're a pack-a-day smoker, this means going from 20 to 0 cigarettes in the matter of a day. With the cold turkey method, you completely stop your smoking all at once, relying on your will power to fight your nicotine addiction.
This is the most popular, yet possibly the most uncomfortable, tobacco reduction or cessation strategy. It involves setting a reduction or quit date, and simply reducing or quitting on that date without any prior reduction, preparation or nicotine withdrawal.
The "cold turkey" approach can cause mild to severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Drastic reductions in tobacco use will result in withdrawal symptoms that can include irritability, fatigue, headache, insomnia, constipation, sweating, coughing, poor concentration, depression, increased appetite, and cravings for tobacco.
Quitting cold turkey is extremely
difficult because most of us have lives that require us to function as somewhat normal
human beings for most of the day. When you are suffering through the initial five days of
craziness without nicotine, you will feel more like an angry, rabid bear than a human, and
you will be about as fit company for other humans. Here are some things you can do to make
quitting cold turkey difficult as opposed to impossible: These hints apply to some degree to every method of
quitting smoking, but if you quit cold turkey you need all the help you can get.
These hints apply to some degree to every method of quitting smoking, but if you quit cold turkey you need all the help you can get.
After a year only about 4% of smokers who quit without any outside help succeed. Nevertheless, most people try to quit alone and many have reported activities that can help the process of withdrawal. One small study comparing men who had quit for 10 years with those who failed found that those who substituted other types of oral behavior were more likely to succeed in quitting than those who didn't. People who simply tried to distract themselves with busy activities were typical of those who relapsed. The primary obstacle in trying to quit alone is making the behavioral changes necessary to eliminate the habits associated with smoking. Excellent books, tapes, and manuals are available and are strongly recommended to help people who want to quit without other assistance.
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Updated August 2018