And so may going ‘cold turkey’, or using any other alternative method of quitting. It’s often touted that going cold turkey (i.e. stopping smoking with no quit-aids and definitely no Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)) results in the greatest long-term success rates. Big whoop, I say!
Statistics are a great way of calculating means, medians, modes, quartiles and deciles, trends and bell curves, and generally slicing and dicing data in every which way possible. I know this, because in my profession I have worked with crunching large volumes of data for many years. To me, displaying the results is just one part of the overall data analysis. Understanding the results is another part of the analysis. Understanding the relevance of the results is yet another part of analysis. And finally, questioning the effectiveness of the results by applying common sense and logic is probably the most important part of the analysis.
To make an analogy, if we were to study women’s shoe sizes and determine that less than 10% of the female population wear a size 5 or below, and that less than 10% of the female population wear a size 11 or above, it would leave 80% of the female population wearing a shoe size between 6 and 10. Oh, and before the ladies start throwing their shoes at me, I made up these numbers!
These (fictitious) shoe size statistics might lead us to believe that shoe manufacturers only need to take care about the 80%, because the rest of the female population is statistically irrelevant. But the fact is that somewhere, there is a market for the other 20%, and while they may be less representative of the overall demographic, these ladies’ feet are just as important in the grand scheme of things. It’s just plain common sense and logic! That is, unless you don’t mind that 20% of the female population go shoe-less through the cold and rain.
Of course, I’m trying to be humorous with the ladies’ shoes analogy. All I’m really saying is that 100% of the people trying to quit smoking need to be taken into account, regardless of which method typically succeeds the best. The end goal is to cater for everyone who wants to quit smoking, and not just declare that ‘cold turkey’ is the most effective method, as though that’s going to help someone who might benefit more from an alternative method of quitting.
Choose whichever quit method works best for you!