New Year’s may be a popular time to quit smoking, but research shows there's a better time to kick the habit.
You are better off picking a random Monday in 2014 to quit smoking than New Year’s Day, according to an October report from the Journal of the American Medical Association, Internal Medicine, which says 25 percent more people seek out smoking-cessation information on a Monday than any other day, including New Year’s Day. The study monitored global Google search queries from 2008 to 2012 in a variety of languages.
“Popular belief has been that the decision to quit smoking is unpredictable or even chaotic,” said John Ayers of San Diego State University, the study’s lead author. “By taking a bird’s-eye view of Google searches, however, we find anything but chaos. Instead, Google search data reveal interest in quitting is part of a larger collective pattern of behavior dependent on the day of the week.”
There’s no doubt that smokers often make quitting one of their New Year’s resolutions, but smokers may have a better chance of kicking their nicotine habit on a Monday, thanks to the Quit and Stay Quit Monday program that gives smokers encouragement.
"On New Year's Day, interest in smoking cessation doubles," Ayers said. "But New Year's happens one day a year. Here we're seeing a spike that happens once a week."
According to the Monday Campaigns, “smokers often wait for special occasions like birthdays or New Year’s to quit, but most will relapse within a month.”
But by choosing a Monday to quit, any relapse can get smokers to recommit to their quit-smoking plan by starting again on the next Monday.
“Each Monday, smokers can plan for the week ahead by anticipating triggers and cravings for cigarettes,” the Monday Campaigns says on its website. “They can also look back on the previous week and use Monday as a day to reward themselves for staying quit. If a smoker has a ‘quit buddy’ or counselor that she meets with to help her kick the habit, Monday is a good day to check in about the smoker’s progress.”
A variety of resources, including the Quit Smoking Toolkit, 12 months of tips for quitting smoking on Mondays and a Quit & Stay Quit Monday implementation plan can be found here.