Patch vs Turkey

Success Rate – Nicotine Patches vs Cold Turkey?

August 24, 2015 • Quit Smoking

This is one of the most often asked questions for smokers attempting to quit smoking. Some of their friends are telling them to use nicotine patches while others encourage them to go cold turkey, which basically means stopping without any chemical or medical aids. Now before we jump straight into the whole smoke cessation debate, let us first bring you some cold hard facts about the success rates of each.

Data from

The American Cancer Society published a very interesting article naming some facts about the success rates of stop smoking programs. They outlined the importance of understanding the criteria behind how each program defined the term “success”  into their data. For example, staying smoke-free for 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 year etc. Also, if there were any evidence to prove that past participants are in fact still within those defined criteria.

Now here are their confirmed statistics:

* Cold Turkey:  4% – 7% of smokers successfully quit without any help.

* Medicines:  25% of people who used stayed non-smoking for over six months.

* Other Help: Success rate increases with other help such as therapy, counselling, hypnosis, family support etc.

As you can see, the results from using cold turkey method are not very encouraging, which is really interesting because as you read on from various other sources below, you can clearly see that cold turkey is in fact the preferred method in smoking cessation over nicotine patches or other methods.


Data from

The leader of analytics have compiled a poll in 2013 consisting survey data of American smokers sharing their preferred methods of quitting. In fact, these people have successfully ceased smoking and they owe it to the following:

Smoker Poll
Source: Gallup

As you can see from the above survey, up to 48% of former smokers have attributed their success to cold turkey, which is a really high percentage especially if you compare it to nicotine patch which only sits on a mere 5%. Not to mention gum which is only 1%.

Data from

Let’s face it, most people prefer NOT to use NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) in their quit smoking journey and many studies have also shown that their success rates are NOT any better than cold turkey.

According to their website, a research study published in 2007 interviewed 8000+ smokers who tried to quit cigarettes using different methods over a period of time. The stats were gathered and concluded after researchers met with the participants through 3 separate time intervals and here’s what they have found.

* 68.5% of participants used the cold turkey method

* 22% recorded success after second contact

* 27% recorded success after third contact

This is a more realistic research as we all know that quitting smoking is never easy and most likely will take more than one time to succeed.  Stats like these are more encouraging because they are compared to methods such as reducing quantity to using nicotine patches.


Final Thoughts

So there you go smokers, if you have been looking for the best method to quit this unhealthy habit for goof. We highly recommend you to try the COLD TURKEY method to begin with. You may not succeed the first time, but it is a healthier approach compare to taking medicines such as Bupropion, Varenicline or Chantix because there will be no side effects.

While you may experience some withdrawal symptoms without the aid of gums or patches, but if you can stay strong and positives, these symptoms will only last a really short period of time. Otherwise, you are only really replacing your cigarettes with a gum or a patch and when you’re off it, the withdrawal symptoms will hit you again so you’re back to square one.

Therefore, our best tips and advice is don’t use anything, ask for support if needed and battle it out. We wish you all the best and please stay smoke free!


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