Researchers at the School of Public Health, University of Sydney, after a review of 511 studies, found that most people who have quit tobacco have done so without the help of pharmaceuticals, and most people say that it was easier than they thought it would be. The researchers suggest that public education efforts that reflect these findings may help support quitting efforts.
They also propose that the companies who produce cessation-aiding drugs have contributed to the growing perception that quitting is extremely difficult, or impossible. Let’s take this commercial for instance.
In this ad the company likens quitting smoking to standing on the edge of a 20+ story building, the wind is blowing, and to quit smoking you have to, I guess, jump? That IS scary! The smoker takes a step out, and thankfully a nicotine patch is there to catch him, acting like as stepping stone. Watch the ad.
Yes, quitting smoking can be difficult (I know, I have done it, and did so cold turkey), but is it really as terrifying as standing on the edge of a skyscraper and in order to quit you have to jump off!? Certainly not! Not to mention that even WITH those steps it would still be really frightening!
—follow-up: I wanted to just also mention that while this article is somewhat berating of the nicotine patch companies maybe it is a little harsh. Quitting smoking is very hard, and for some people it might seem nearly impossible. If the availability of the patch helps people to quit or at least gets people to consider quitting, then that’s great! Smoking is the cause of the most preventable deaths. Anything we can do to help people stop should be encouraged. However, my point still remains. No company or industry should be making quitting smoking seem harder than it actually is.