Giving Up Smoking Cold Turkey Works… Eventually.

Cold TurkeyIf you are one of the millions looking to quit smoking, chances are you’ve heard a lot about Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and medication such as Chantix. By comparison, giving up smoking cold turkey is not something you will often see advertised as an effective way to quit.


Cold turkey is statistically the most common way of quitting among successful ex smokers.

There can be no doubt that NRT and prescribed medication both serve as highly effective quit smoking aids, millions of ex smokers can testify to this.

However, given that cold turkey is statistically the most common way of quitting among successful ex smokers, the question needs to be asked, why does it get such little advertising coverage?

The answer, I think, is pretty simple.

We live in a society where progress is primarily driven by consumerism and the generation of wealth. While the majority of smokers have a need to quit, giving up smoking cold turkey does not provide a means for businesses to make a profit. At least not directly.

There is however, a need for smokers to find products that may make quitting easier, and as consumers, smokers are willing to pay for it.

Giving up smoking cold turkey is hard, physically intense and something that generates a degree of fear within many smokers. It is also the measure of all quit smoking methods. Every method you see advertised is heavily focused on “relieving” the side effects of giving up smoking cold turkey.

Contrary to the opinion of some who are opposed to NRT and medicinal aids, there is no conspiracy to keep people addicted. People need and want a diverse range of quit smoking methods and there is nothing wrong with individuals seeking out and paying for additional aids to help them quit smoking.

Having said that, giving up smoking cold turkey is still the most common method among ex smokers and most definitely deserves to be given more attention.

It is also the quickest way to be free from nicotine dependence.

Everything in life has pros and cons, gains and losses, positives and negatives. Whilst giving up smoking cold turkey is physically the hardest way to quit, it is also the quickest way to be free from nicotine dependence.

Many people fear quitting cold turkey. This is not surprising, after all, how many times have people suddenly stopped smoking with the intent to quit, only to fail time and again. I myself failed at cold turkey… a lot. The thing is, like any quit smoking method it only needs to work once for it to be successful.

Despite all my previous failures, I did eventually manage to permanently give up smoking cold turkey.

What changed?

For starters, my knowledge and understanding of nicotine addiction. This combined with the experience I gained through various quit campaigns, allowed me to master my own quit.

It is a fact that NRT and medication help people to eventually quit. It is a fact, that giving up smoking cold turkey, also helps people to eventually quit.



  1. Best website i’ve found. Can’t thank the Author enough. Many of the withdrawl symptoms are that of pregnancy.

  2. This is the first time I have ever posted on a public web site but this site truly made the difference for me and helped me CHANGE MY LIFE – so I felt compelled to share my experience. I am 54 years old and I started smoking ‘socially’ in my late teens. I was a full fledged (addicted) pack a day smoker by my early 20’s. I managed to quit cold turkey both times I was pregnant but started again as soon as my babies were weaned from nursing. My mantra had always been “I’ll quit before I’m 30”. Well that didn’t happen. Somewhere in my early 30’s I began my ridiculous parade of quit attempts. I have quit at least 10 times over the last 20+ years. For some reason, I have always been able to ‘power through’ those first few days and even weeks of quitting cold turkey. But due to a complete ignorance of the science of nicotine addition, each time I ended up starting up again anywhere from a few weeks into the quit up to a couple months. I always blamed it on the fact that my husband continued (and still continues) to smoke and the constant temptation was just too much for anyone to bear. This time HAD to be different. At my age I started feeling like I was playing Russian Roulette with my life (I won’t bore you with all the ways I was suffering physically – we all know what they are!!!), not to mention how sick and tired I was of dealing with the other negatives of smoking, i.e. cost ($6.00+ a pack, really?!?!?!?) smelly clothes, the need to sneak away from work for smoke breaks, not to mention the social stigma. The current culture and mindset is that smart people don’t smoke and, let’s face it, that is absolutely true and accurate! (I would, however, change the word ‘smart’ to ‘informed’.) I could not stand to continue to do such a stupid thing to myself for even one more day. So on Friday morning, November 22, 2013 I smoked my last cigarette and began my research to figure out how to ‘stay quit’ this time. After a few days of research and lots of good but not earth shattering information I found this web site and started learning. I can’t go so far as to say it was a piece of cake after that but I CAN say without hesitation that once I started learning about the science of nicotine addition there was never a doubt that I would never smoke another cigarette as long as I live. My mindset changed from “I never get to smoke again” to “I never HAVE to smoke again”. I understand now that I never enjoyed smoking all those years; what I enjoyed was having my nicotine craving satisfied. In other words, I was in an almost constant state of craving, which is uncomfortable at best and agonizing at worst. Smoking a cigarette temporarily made that craving stop so, of course, it FELT like I enjoyed smoking the cigarette!! Understanding this was HUGE for me! It is such a SIMPLE concept but I had never understood it before. So…. here I am almost 10 weeks into my quit and I feel wonderful. I wish I could convey to you just how amazing it feels to be able to say to myself truly and without a shadow of doubt “I am a non smoker”. Of course I still have occasional cravings, but they are getting fewer and farther between and frankly I just ignore them and remind myself that however unpleasant a craving may be (and let’s face it sometimes they are downright agonizing!!) they don’t come close to the nightmare of being an addicted, pack a day smoker. I have two goals for writing this; first and foremost is the hope that sharing the simple concepts I learned on might help someone else trying to quit. Secondly I just need to say THANK YOU to the author(s). You saved my life.

  3. This is also the first time for me to ever post on a public website. I have posted on a previous comment that I am 9 months without a cigarette. I had smoked for 40 years more than a pack a day. over the previous 35 years I tried dozens of times to quit. This time was different. I decided to simply choose not to smoke. Meaning, in the past I had thrown all of my cigarettes out, put the ashtrays away and denied myself the option. This time, the ashtrays were out, half carton of cigarettes in my office and a full carton in my home. I just CHOSE not to smoke. Honestly it was not easy, but for me, having the option, and making the choice worked like magic. This may not work for everyone, but … it certainly worked for me. Good luck to everyone, And yes…thank you to the author and creator of this site! GREAT!

    • Hi Robb! My name is Tracy and I’m two days smoke free. Like you, I have a pack of cigarettes, lighter and clean ashtray beside me. Trying not to pick one up. I have taken them with me everywhere I have gone these past two days as well. Feeling comfort knowing they’re there but fighting not to light one. Found it so interesting you too kept yours around. Looking for help and choosing not to smoke. ?

  4. After 34 years of smoking and coding in the ER. I was in ICU for two days was enough for me. Yes I have and had cravings but I’m alive! I was that person that never wanted to quit. I love the smell and enjoyed the cigarette. But I enjoy my family more and unfortunately it took a heart attack to figure this out. Not to mention the $ I’m saving.

  5. I have smoked for 55yrs a pack a day. I have quit several times cold turkey. Once lasting 6 years and anger got the best of me and I picked up a cig. And that was it . Back to being addicted, well here I am cold turkey week 3 the mood swings and anger r the worst. But I am determined to not smoke another cig

  6. This is an awesome site for information and support on quitting smoking. I’m going through my sixth week without a smoke. It’s difficult and scary sometimes with the stuff I feel but really determined to get rid of this addiction.

  7. i had quit for 15 years and returned to smoking ‘because i was drinking alcohol with friends that also smokes. one led to another and another. Next thing i know i started buying a pack of cigarette and end up smoking a pack for almost two years. i saw my brother with COPD and in oxygen 24/7. i decided to quit. It has been my 4th day not smoking cold turkey. i believe i can do it for now until something very stressful happens in my life and i am afraid i may easily go back to smoking. i need to be ready for what may come?

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