Smokers looking to kick their habit should go "cold turkey" - the most successful method of stopping, according to new research.
Scientists confirmed that smokers who try to kick their habit bit by bit are less likely to succeed than those with the willpower to give it up in one go.
Dr Nicola Lindson-Hawley, from Oxford University, who led the British Heart Foundation-funded study, explains:
A month after "quit day", 49% of the "abrupt cessation" group were still not smokingcompared with 39% of the "gradual cessation" group, meaning the cold turkey participants were 25% more likely to have been successful.
The contrast between the two groups was seen at the outset, with more "abrupt" quitters managing at least 24 hours without tobacco than their "gradual" counterparts.
Dr Lindson-Hawley said:
ut she added that for smokers who find it quite impossible to make a clean break from tobacco, it was better to try to cut down than simply give up.
"For these people it is much better to attempt to cut down their smoking than do nothing at all and we should increase support for gradual cessation to increase their chances of succeeding," she said.
The research is reported in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
- For help stopping smoking,visit the NHS Livewell website.