Smokers Worry About Health Impact of Cessation Treatments
Current smokers want to quit, and research from a study completed this year shows that almost half of smokers attempt to stop smoking at least once each year. Obviously most of these attempts end in failure or the number of adult smokers would be much lower. Most of these unsuccessful attempts are made “cold-turkey”, or without the aid of proven smoking cessation treatments like nicotine replacement patches and gums. Cessation aids like nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT, have been shown to double the chances of quitting successfully. However, many smokers avoid these tools because they believe incorrectly that NRT negatively impacts your health, according to research published in Addictive Behaviors.
Smokers aren’t aware of the actual risks and benefits of NRT therapies. The biggest misconception among smokers was that smoking a cigarette while using a nicotine patch would cause a heart attack. 93% of smokers in the study believed that this was true or was unsure if it was true, but it is actually false. More than 75% were also convinced or unsure that nicotine gums, patches and other tools were as addictive as cigarettes and were afraid they would just be switching one addiction for another. Research has shown that nicotine is much less addictive in gum and patch administration and that these tools work well for weaning yourself off of the substance altogether.
Education was shown to make a big difference in the likelihood of a smoker choosing to use an NRT system. Half of smokers who wanted to quit said that they would be more likely to try out an NRT if they were given the truth about the safety of the health risks associated. This shows that smokers still need education on what methods to use when quitting, even if they’re already fully aware of the benefits of quitting and the health risks of continuing to smoke.