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Cold turkey

What exactly does cold turkey mean? It usually means stopping smoking all at once rather than gradually cutting down to no cigarettes. Right?

But many people, when they say “I went cold turkey", mean that they quit suddenly and they quit without the help of stop smoking medications like nicotine patch or gum or prescribed tablets.

Whatever your take is on the turkey, studies shows that quitting suddenly with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)  or prescribed tablets is the most effective way. If you add Quitline into the plan you've got an even better chance. If using NRT, combining the nicotine patch with a faster-acting type like gum or lozenge is the most effective. Talk to your doctor about the best approach for you.

If you feel like you've just had enough of cigarettes and want to stop immediately – go for it! Many people who quit for good quit on the spot. 

If quitting all at once is too big a step, then cutting down may be a way for you to start.


Last updated June 2022.

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