The worst thing about smoking, apart from the horrible effects it has on one’s health, is the after effects of quitting it. Most people who quit smoking usually relapse just as easily. Despite the medications and nicotine patches available in the market, there have been many complains about people finding it difficult to quit smoking.
A recent study, however, has an unusual way to help you out – that is if you’re in a romantic relationship and both you and your partner smoke and trying to quit. According to a London-based study, couples who try to quit smoking together, have nearly a six times more chance of success. The study suggests that kicking the habit comes easily when working in pairs.
"Quitting smoking can be a lonely endeavor," said Magda Lampridou from the Imperial College London in the UK. "People feel left out when they skip the smoke break at work or avoid social occasions. On top of that, there are nicotine withdrawal symptoms," Lampridou said in a statement. "Partners can distract each other from the cravings by going for a walk or to the cinema and encouraging replacement activities like eating healthy food or meditating when alone. Active support works best, rather than nagging," he said.
This comes as great news – as statistics say half of coronary patients smoke and 90% of people are at high risk of cardiovascular diseases are also smokers.
"Smoking cessation interventions should incorporate couples where possible to achieve a smoke-free household," said Lampridou.
The study was able to evaluate the supporting role of a married or cohabiting partner in quitting the habit. For the study, 222 current smokers who were at high risk of cardiovascular diseases were observed.
During the 16-week programme, couples were offered nicotine replacement therapy with patches and gum. In one programme, participants could choose the prescription drug varenicline instead. At the end of the programme, 64 percent of patients and 75 percent of partners were abstinent -- compared to none and 55 percent at the start, respectively.
Previous research has shown that ex-smokers can also positively influence their spouse's attempts to quit, but in this study, the effect was not statistically significant. "As for non-smoking partners, there is a strong risk that they will adopt their spouse's habit," said Lampridou Researchers noted that further study is needed to confirm the findings in smokers who are otherwise healthy.