This May Be the Best Way to Quit Smoking, According to Science

Updated: Mar. 03, 2021

Butt out.

smokingJakkarin Chuenaka

Smoking is bad for you, we told you first. No, really; we did tell you first. (In fact, the negative side effects can be very visible.) The habit has been on the decline since the 1950s, but it still accounts for 480,000 deaths in the U.S. annually and causes 16 million Americans to become infected with smoking-linked diseases, according to the CDC.

Giving up the habit can be tricky, and alternatives like patches, gum, lozenges, and even toothpicks offer an alternative to the standard cigarette. Seventy percent of smokers claim they want to quit, but still the addiction persists, afflicting 36.5 million Americans. But now there might be a new path to quit smoking, thanks to a new study from the University of Vermont.

The study sought to study “the effects of nicotine reduction among more vulnerable smokers.” The “vulnerable smokers” were represented in the study by populations inordinately affected by the habit, namely “individuals with psychiatric disorders (i.e., affective disorders, opioid-use disorder), and socioeconomically disadvantaged women.”

During the research, smokers were offered to smoke their usual cigarettes, which had higher nicotine content, or the study’s cigarettes, which were lower in nicotine content and considerably cheaper. Cost mattered more to the participants on the whole and most of them opted for the study cigarettes.

The study included 169 daily smokers, 120 women, and 49 men. The study concluded that “in relatively healthy and socially stable smokers indicates that reducing the nicotine content of cigarettes reduces their addictiveness,” according to Stephen Higgins, author of the study.

In late July, the FDA outlined new plans to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes periodically over time. The nicotine reduction will undoubtedly help with addiction, but the organization emphasized that this does not reduce the negative health side effects of cigarettes.

So if you’re looking to quit smoking, try one of these 23 methods. The goal is achievable—just ask these ex-smokers who can tell you firsthand why they quit smoking

[Source: New York Daily News]