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How effective are stop-smoking programs?

Stop-smoking programs can be effective but the patient is two times more likely to quit with support. Support includes help lines, group therapy and hospital programs.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Quitting cold turkey is about two to three percent successful in the data. The highest rate is five percent. Stop smoking programs that include patch, pill, behavioral therapy, and exercise are over 30 percent maybe as much as 60 percent so they are at least five times as successful as quitting cold turkey.

The effectiveness of these programs is variable. A combination of therapy and nicotine replacement therapy generally produces the best outcomes.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There's no point in ignoring the truth: Quitting smoking is hard to do. You only need to look at success rates for proof -- though if you've ever tried to kick the habit yourself, you probably don't need any convincing. People who try to quit on their own have a pretty dismal track record. Just 3% to 5% of people who go at it alone are smoke-free a year later.

Participating in a stop-smoking program increases the odds of success. But these programs are only marginally effective. Studies show that 7% to 16% of people who try behavioral approaches to quitting smoking succeed. However, studies also show that people who participate in stop-smoking programs and take medication to help them overcome nicotine dependence have higher success rates, and are most likely to quit for good.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.