View Full Version : Smokers who stop 'on a whim' more likely to succeed

Monday, January 30th, 2006, 02:31 PM
Smokers who stop 'on a whim' more likely to succeed

(Filed: 30/01/2006)

People who stop smoking "on a whim" are more likely to kick the habit in the longer term than those who plan to do it, researchers say today.

Nearly two thirds of smokers who made unplanned attempts to stop were not smoking six months later compared with 42 per cent of smokers who planned attempts.

Those who stopped suddenly were twice as likely not to be smoking after six months and in the following five years.

The survey, supported by Cancer Research UK, involved 918 smokers who said they had made at least one attempt to stop and 996 former smokers.

It found that nearly half of the attempts had been sudden. When smokers planned to stop, time frames ranged from "later the same day" to "a few months ahead".

Robert West, professor of health psychology at University College London, who analysed the results of the survey, says in the British Medical Journal that "catastrophe theory" might explain the findings. Catastrophe theory in mathematics proposes that when tensions develop in systems even small events can trigger a catastrophe.

"We propose that beliefs, past experiences and the current situation create varying levels of motivational tension, in the presence of which even quite small triggers can lead to renunciation of smoking.

"Where they lead, instead, to a plan for later action, this may signify a lower level of commitment," he says.

Prof West said yesterday that the results did not mean that smokers should never plan ahead when considering stopping.

"But they do tell us something about the state of mind of the smoker who wants to quit. Dissatisfaction with being a smoker creates a kind of tension," he said.

"Tension is created through smoke-free legislation, price increases and health warnings. But we also need to flood the smoker's world with triggers - like short sharp TV advertisements - calling on smokers to take immediate action if they feel ready to quit."

Source (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=P8&xml=/health/2006/01/30/nsmoke27.xml)

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006, 08:16 AM
The way you stop smoking is you stop thinking about smoking. Really, non-smokers don't think about smoking every half hour you know, so if you want to be a non-smoker, start acting like one.

As far as the whim thing goes, somebody that has built quitting up in their head will be thinking about it all the time and constantly checking back on their progress. People who stop on a whim will not think about it as much therefore they will not have fags on the brain as much as the "expeditionist" quitter would.