Reviewing 511 studies published in 2007 and 2008 Chapman and MacKenzie report that studies repeatedly show that two-thirds to three-quarters of ex-smokers stop unaided and most ex-smokers report that cessation was “not at all difficult”.
In 2003, some 20 years after the introduction of cessation pharmacotherapies, smokers trying to stop unaided in the past year were twice as numerous as those using pharmacotherapies and only 8.8% of US quit attempters used a behavioural treatment. Moreover, despite the pharmaceutical industry's efforts to promote pharmacologically mediated cessation and numerous clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of pharmacotherapy, the most common method used by most people who have successfully stopped smoking remains unassisted cessation (cold turkey or reducing before quitting).
Today, unassisted cessation continues to lead the next most successful method (nicotine replacement therapy [NRT]) by a wide margin.
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Chapman S, MacKenzie R. The Global Research Neglect of Unassisted Smoking Cessation: Causes and Consequences. PLoS Medicine, 2010; 7 (2): e1000216 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000216Picture: http://www.londonstimes.us