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Kicking the smoking habit for good

I still smile when I remember talking with a friend who told me he had quit smoking a few years back. "But I saw you smoking on Saturday," I reminded him.

After a pause, he murmured that he had given up his daily habit and now only smoked an occasional cigarette when he was feeling stressed. "But you're still smoking, right?" I said. After another pause, he said, "Well, if you want to look at it that way, I guess I am."

It just goes to show how strong nicotine's grip can be, and how hard it can be to truly kick the habit. And it's toward that goal that researchers at the School of Medicine are launching a study that explores the effectiveness of long-term, one-on-one counseling in helping smokers quit.

For the study, all participants will undergo six months of one-on-one therapy, and will receive smoking-cessation medications. At the end of the six months, the participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first will continue to receive individual counseling sessions for another six months, while the second will receive monthly follow-up phone calls for the same period of time. My news release gives more details about those who are eligible to participate in the study.

Principal investigator Sean David, MD, DPhil, says most people who try to quit on their own end up failing, and so he and his colleagues are looking for better approaches to help people stay off cigarettes for good.

And the study comes along at an opportune time, since the Great American Smokeout will take place on Nov. 17.

Previously: Can daily texts help smokers kick their nicotine addiction?
Photo by Qfamily

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