The UC San Diego School of Medicine released an update in this year’s Annual Review of Public Health about the most successful techniques for helping modern smokers ash the habit.
The group made significant strides in eliminating smoking habits with pharmaceutical treatments after reviewing various unsuccessful quitting methods.
John Pierce, a professor of family and preventive medicine as well as the associate director of population sciences at UCSD Moores Cancer Center, said the relationship between success stories and efforts to drop the habit has inverted in recent years.
“For the past decade, attempts to quit smoking have increased, but the proportion of people who become successful quitters has gone down,” Pierce said.
According to recent studies, advertisements can mislead individuals into believing nicotine chewing gum or patches are sufficient means to put an end to puffing. Researchers claimed innovative peer-to-peer strategies such as the Text2Quit telephone service — a feature that sends motivational text messages — demonstrated promising results.
Recent data suggests the majority of successful quitters adopt the “cold turkey” method frequently discouraged by medical professionals. However, Pierce and his colleagues speculated such involvement techniques could undermine smokers’ confidence in their ability to quit independently.
Pierce’s associates Aimee Humphrey, Karen Messer, Martha White and Sharon Cummins cited texts by American psychologist William James that date back to 1890. According to James, smokers must be intrinsically motivated to quit before they can actually commit to doing so.
Researchers said they hope national policies begin to recognize and capitalize on the importance of human willpower.