Quit Smoking by the Clock:Study Confirms Quitting Gradually Works Best

Posted by quitkey on November 9th, 2013

Reston, Virginia: August 29, 2013 Contact: Al Behar

Smokers trying to kick the habit are more likely to be successful if they cut back gradually and smoke on a time-based schedule that disrupts their usual smoking pattern. That's the conclusion of a smoking cessation study that was published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

In the study, conducted by Dr. Paul Cinciripini at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, smokers who followed a schedule that assigned them to smoke at specific times of the day, and then to gradually increase the time between cigarettes, were far more successful quitting than smokers who tried to quit cold turkey.

Dr. Cinciripini's study is unique because it is one of the first carefully controlled studies to compare gradual reduction with cold turkey. However, gradual reduction techniques for smoking cessation are not new. For the past 30 years, scientists at PICS, Inc., with grant funding from the National Cancer Center and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, have been developing and testing gradual reduction methods to help people quit smoking, chewing and dipping.

The culmination of this research is available in the form of a tiny hand-held computer called LifeSign® QuitKey®, a commercially available self-help program that has been tested extensively and used by over one million people in their efforts to quit smoking. (QuitKey is available from P1CS, Inc. in Reston, Virginia by calling 1-800-543-3744 which spells 1-800-LifeSign or online at www.quitkey.com )

According to Dr. Albert Jerome PICS, Inc., "The approach is effective because it attacks the two pillars of tobacco dependence: nicotine addiction and the smoking habit. Nicotine addiction is gradually eliminated because fewer and fewer cigarettes are smoked over time; and the habit is weakened because smoking on a time-based schedule breaks the link between everyday smoking cues and the experience of smoking a cigarette."

The computerized approach of LifeSign is ideal for a gradual reduction program. Users punch in their smoking habit for seven days. The computer then generates the appropriate quitting schedule automatically and prompts the user when it is time to smoke.

The use of hand-held computers has also proven effective in other areas where behavior modification is necessary to change old habits. For those who want to lose weight or reduce cholesterol, PICS, has developed DietMate, a sophisticated hand-held computer that structures a nutrition and exercise program. http://www.DietMate.com

Editors note: Al Behar, the CEO of PICS, Inc. is available for interviews. Please call PICS, Inc. at (703)758-1400. Also, demos of the LifeSign QuitKey and DietMate hand-held computers can be arranged.


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