Three-quarters of Victorian smokers agree that life would be better if they quit smoking, but more than half of those trying to quit did not use any form of proven quitting help, new research shows.
A large study by Cancer Council Victoria’s Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer found:
- Almost three out of four smokers (73%) agree that life would be better if they quit smoking.
- Four out of five smokers (80%) said they should quit smoking in the future, while one in eight (13%) said they were happy to smoke forever.
Quit Victoria Director Dr Sarah White said the study showed that half of all people who tried to quit last year tried at least one quitting aid or service on their last quit attempt. Fewer than one in five used an approach recommended by experts.
“The most effective way to quit is combining personalised coaching with patches plus another type of nicotine replacement product. That’s because the coaching helps people beat the habitual and emotional parts of smoking, and the nicotine replacement products help manage the physical part of the addiction. Combining patches with gum or lozenges or spray, to knock out those strong, sudden urges, is the best approach to using nicotine replacement products,” Dr White said.
“This myth that people should just be able to quit through willpower just won’t go away. Cold turkey works for some people, but it doesn’t work for everyone. There are really inexpensive and effective strategies available to make quitting easier which have far higher chances of success compared to going cold turkey.”
“It’s important to remember that quitting is achievable – there are now more ex-smokers than current smokers in Victoria. Every quit attempt is good practice and people usually learn something that will help next time.”
Tools available at www.quit.org.au can help people understand their smoking habits, choose the best way to quit and plan their quit attempt. Smokers can also phone the Quitline on 13 78 48 to get personalised, non-judgmental coaching and advice for the cost of a telephone call.
Quit’s tips for success
- Decide on a quit date and stick to it
- Phone the Quitline on 13 78 48 for advice and encouragement or visit www.quit.org.au
- Tell your family and friends of your plan to stop smoking and ask for their support
- Use nicotine patches together with another, fast-acting nicotine replacement product such as gum or lozenges
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