Monday, June 09, 2014

When Are Smokers Likely To Think About Quitting?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is an estimated 1 billion smokers worldwide. In the United States alone, nearly 44 million adults are smokers. Besides cancers, cigarette smoking can increase a person’s risk of getting many chronic diseases including respiratory disease, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

There is no excuse for smokers not to kick the habit that could actually bring them so much harm. Data provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that about 70 percent of American smokers say they want to quit, but each year, a little more than half make an attempt. 

A paper that was published online October 28, 2013 in in the journal ‘JAMA Internal Medicine’ revealed that smokers are more likely to consider quitting smoking on Mondays than on any other day of the week. The findings were the result of a global analysis of weekly Google search terms by researchers from San Diego State University and other institutions.

After looking at Google logs from 2008 to 2012 in English, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, the researchers found that the volume of stop-smoking queries was about 25 percent higher on Mondays than on the remaining days of the week combined. English language searches were about 11 percent higher on Mondays than on Wednesdays, about 67 percent higher than on Fridays, and about 145 percent greater on Mondays than on Saturdays.

The findings are important since researchers have previously thought that smokers’ impulse to quit smoking was random or chaotic, though some research did show that people wished to quit smoking on New Year’s Day when the interest in smoking cessation doubled. Nevertheless, New Year Day happens only once a year while there are 52 Mondays a year.

With the new insight, public health campaigns and smoking prevention efforts could then direct their resources including time, money, and staffing earlier in the week in order to get the best results. When people are actually paying attention and that measure of attention is certainly stronger. Monday is a day when people are more open to receiving information about health decisions and more likely to act on those decisions.

Meanwhile, one should not forget that social support plays an important role in helping people quit smoking. When one knows that he or she is not alone when reaching out for information can actually assist them follow-through on their intentions to quit.

Smokers might need many quit attempts before they can succeed. Hence, prompting them repeatedly on every Mondays might be an effective and easy way to implement campaign.

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