National Non-Smoking Week January 15 - 21 offers an important reminder that individualized support maximizes quit success
MARKHAM, ON, Jan. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Support - it's one of the most important factors that can determine whether thousands of Canadian smokers will achieve their 2012 New Year's resolution to quit smoking.1 For most, a well-planned approach to quitting is crucial - and while a recent study published in the journal Tobacco Control has raised questions about the effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), the overwhelming evidence shows that NRT can play an important role in helping many smokers quit successfully.
"There are many factors that can impact a person's ability to quit smoking successfully, including social, environmental and psychological factors. Yet while there is no single magic formula that works for everyone, I've seen first-hand the benefits of NRT," says Dr. Andrew McIvor, Professor of Medicine at McMaster University and a Staff Respirologist at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, St. Joseph's Healthcare. "Everyone's quit journey is different, but the fact is counseling alone is not enough for many patients. NRT can effectively help ease cravings and is still recommended as a first-line therapy for quitting."
Hundreds of clinical trials involving more than 35,000 participants and extensive consumer use for more than 20 years have proven both the efficacy and safety of NRT when used as directed.2 Indeed, more than 80 clinical studies have shown that smokers are twice as likely to successfully quit smoking using NRT, such as NICORETTE®, compared to willpower alone.3 In fact, of those smokers who attempt to quit without any support, about 97 per cent will find their attempts fail within six months.4
On average, it takes four quit attempts for smokers to finally quit,5 yet each attempt is a success in itself and can also make the next try better. Each try will help smokers learn something about themselves and what successful quitting looks like for them.
"I've been smoke-free now for nearly two years," said KJ Fuhrman, a participant in SMOBER UP® - an online community that helps Canadians quit smoking. "I used a lot of tricks to help me get past my cravings and stay smoke-free. One of them included personalizing my Inhaler, which let me keep the same routines I had as a smoker and made the transition to becoming a former-smoker that much easier. My Inhaler became a conversation piece and gave me the chance to tell people what I was trying to accomplish. Hearing everyone's positive feedback definitely helped keep me motivated throughout my quit."
Finding the Right Support to Quit
As part of a well-planned approach to quitting smoking, NRT is an effective tool that can help Canadians quit. Here are a few tips to help stay the course with a quit attempt:
- There are a wide of range of NRT products including the Patch, Gum, Inhaler and lozenges that can help you stop smoking in the way that is best for you. For example, the Patch offers continuous craving relief, while the Inhaler helps to satisfy the habitual motion of smoking.
- Having a personalized quit plan, such as one from ACTIVESTOPTM, a program that provides Canadians with tailored support, can help prepare you for the quit-journey ahead. This can include starting a smoking journal in advance of your quit-date to document when and where you smoke in order to identify your smoking routines and triggers, and learn how to break those patterns.
- Don't do it alone! Consider joining a quit-smoking community, like SMOBER UP®, a Facebook community that provides a forum to connect with others going through a similar journey. Learning about tips others are using to stay smoke-free and sharing your own story can help keep you motivated.
"Even if you don't succeed the first time, second time or third time, you have to look at it like every quit attempt is a victory - and if you keep trying, you'll make it," said Fuhrman. "People tend look at quitting like it's a win or lose situation - but that's not the case. Celebrate each day that you remain smoke-free and learn from each set-back. Making the decision to quit smoking is a victory in and of itself."
About McNeil Consumer Healthcare products
NICORETTE® products are marketed and distributed in Canada by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson Inc. McNeil Consumer Healthcare and its affiliates market a broad range of well-known over-the-counter (OTC) products around the globe.
1 Wilson, Douglas M. et al. A Randomized Trial of a Family Physician Intervention for Smoking Cessation. Journal of the American Medical Association, Sept 16, 1988 - Vol 260, No 11; 1570 - 1574.
2 Stead LF, Perera R, Bullen C, Mant D, Lancaster T. Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD000146. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000146.pub3.
3 U.S Department of Health and Human Services Clinical practice guideline. Treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 Update. Public Health Service, May 2008.
4 Hughes JR, Keely J, Naud S. Shape of the relapse curve and long-term abstinence among untreated smokers. 2004 Addiction, 99, 29-38.
5 Canadian Cancer Society website. http://www.cancer.ca/Quebec/About%20us/Media%20centre/QC-Media%20releases/QC-Quebec%20media%20releases/Qc_10ansjarrete.aspx?sc_lang=en. Last accessed on January 13, 2012.
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For more information about the SMOBER UP® community, or to arrange an interview with KJ Fuhrman, please contact: