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Erica C. Barnett
on March 1 at
The Washington health department is running a series of disturbing “cold turkey” ads, featuring a headless, talking turkey:
I love that turkey! But what really got me to quit were the ones where they squoosh the goo out of the heart artery. 6 years clean now.
My first thought when I saw the ad was that it had to come from some private interest with a profit motive in obfuscating a documented truth:
The overwhelming majority of people who break their nicotine addiction do so "cold Turkey." The ad is a lie. Shame on the health department.
totally hilarious! especially the line: "I'm making myself a sandwich. Get it?"; as he puts the slices of bread around himself.
yeah this ad is bullshit... i've quit cold turkey twice!
David, I don't know where you get your data or what you think "cold turkey" means, but more people stay "quit" with some kind of support (groups, telephone counseling, email reminders, etc.) than people who don't have any level of support in their quit attempt.
The CDC, Mayo Clinic, and American Cancer Society all confirm these findings.
If you're referring to some kind of nicotine replacement therapy vs. cold turkey, then you're right, but these ads aren't talking about those things.
Yeah, Soupytwist, I was comparing against nicotine replacement therapies.
The ad's approach is identical to the propaganda of the nicotine replacement products' bogus claims.
Because I've been a non smoker for many years I didn't investigate the ad any further. That was just my first impression of it.
I like these commercials. I hated the ones with the wooden dolls that eat freshly coughed up kitty hairballs, but these are funny. I especially liked the "making myself a sandwich" joke too.
I tried and tried to quit and finally had to take Zyban. It worked. I haven't smoked in 5 years. I had been smoking for about 16 years.
Oh, and as for a definition of "cold turkey," I'm using an established definition of abruptly ending one's use of cigarettes, rather than trying to stop gradually or with the aid of replacement therapies.
On those terms, all of the organizations you cite agree with my assertion. The presence or absense of support groups and whatnot are not related to "cold turkey."
Wait, David, you do realize the ad is saying you can't quit on cold turkey alone, right? So I don't understand your argument.
This appears to be sponsored by the WA state dept of health, so I think the goal is quitting by any means.
I quit by cold turkey. Well, I got the flu, couldn't smoke or drink coffee for weeks, then once I got better, didn't resume either habit. After a few months I went back to coffee, but not nearly as much as before. I have it in the morning, then that's it. I smoked for 12 years and was ready too, so I was already motivated.
Yeah, I misunderstood the campaign. The "alone" is where I got thrown. I thought it was advocating NOT going cold turkey. I was wrong about that.
People have different levels of nicotine addiction, just like different levels of alcohol addiction. I could never be an alcoholic if I was being paid, and some people can't stand being sober. Some people can just stop smoking cigarettes, some people (like myself) can barely stand up and can't think at all if they haven't had a cigarette in 6 hours -- including every morning after waking up.
There's little need to target people who can easily quit cold turkey -- almost every one of them who wants to quit has quit already.
makes me want to shoot a turkey. that was the point, right?
Jamier, going "cold turkey" with cigarettes is not easy for any addict.
I don't deny that addiction varies by individual, or that some people have quit successfully by other means.
The statistics are on my side, though. Something like 85 percent of people who are still "quit" six months or more into the future quit cold turkey. That's just a number, not a judgment.
People who try to slow down, then eventually quit fail by overwhelming margins.
People who use nicotine replacement often times are still "non smokers" six months down the road, but they are still addicted to nicotine (in most cases), often moreso than before.
You could discern "non smoker" from "nicotine addict" and make the numbers say otherwise, which is exactly what the makers of Nicorette and other products do.
That's all I'm saying.
If I misunderstood the ad campaign, I think I've acknowledged my error sufficiently.
I love the ad, it's funny. Isn't necessarily strong on the quitting message (vs., say, the squeezing goo out of a heart valve commercial), but maybe a little levity will reach people the scare tactics don't reach.
I checked on this website and it has links to different quit smoking websites. Yet it doesn't have a link to the leading cold turkey quit smoking website that teaches education to break the addiction. WWW. WhyQuit.com.
It does however have a link to a website (Quitnet.com) that doesn't teach anything new to help the person see cigarettes in a different way. It is full of quit smoking cliches and is very biased against cold turkey quitting. The most successful people I see on that website seem to be the people that read Allen Carr's book or go to a website based of his teachings called Quitsmokingonline.com. Both of which that say do not use NRT's to quit smoking.
Go to the American Cancer Society's website and you will see a 2003 study that shows that 91% of the people that quit. Do it cold turkey. Australia had a similar study in 2006 that showed that 88% of the people quit, did it cold turkey.
The Wall Street Journal just ran an article showing that NRT's are not as successful as the pharmicudical companies want people to think they are.
People need to understand that the NRT success rate studies are very controlled. There is a lot of fine print in these studies that the pharmecudical industry doesn't want people to know about. Slants that make the study look a lot more successful than they really are.
My problem with the pharmecudical propaganda machine is not that people aren't quitting cold turkey. It is the fact that with all the so called quitting aids out there, a lot of people are not successfully quitting smoking in the long term.
The pharmecudical companies are instilling fear into people trying to quit smoking, by saying you have to be Superman to do it. So for example, what does that do for a person's confidence that tried to quit with the patch and failed and went back to smoking? They're probably going to think that since they could'ne quit even with a "quit smoking aid", that they are probably a hopeless addict, that will never be able to quit smoking. Espeically cold turkey.
If people understood more how nicotine works in the body and how stress effects nicotine getting metabolized in the body. They might be shocked to find out it is the people who used NRT's that are truly the superhumans.
The physical part of quitting plays the smallest part. It is the association triggers and brainwashing that are the smoker's biggest obstacle.
Within 72 hours, most nicotine is out of the bloodstream. This is when withdrawal usually peaks and starts to decline. Within 10 to 14 days, physical withdrawal usually stops. What the smoker will deal with after that is association triggers. How hard is it to deal with a trigger that reminds your subconscious to smoke when at the same time the person is actually in a withdrawal because they have small amounts of nicotine in their body?
The person may not be in full blown withdrawal, but they are in a chronic withdrawal, because the nicotine in the patch or gum is not enough to keep their "normal" nicotine levels up, to be totally comfortable.
33% of the people that use the gum, become chronic users and still use it after 6 months, because they are able to ingest more nicotine by just popping in a another piece of gum.
People argue, well at least they're not smoking. Well the problem is, eventually the person gets tired of chronic withdrawal and eventually a lot of people do go back to smoking. There have been case where people were addicted to the gum for 12 years.
To break away from nicotine addiction, you have to quit putting nioctine in your body.
Yes, I think these ads are biased against cold turkey, because if they weren't, they would also say that you can't do NRT alone.
If this ad was promoting cold turkey with support. It would have WhyQuit.com as a link.
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