Best Day to Quit Smoking: Monday

NEW YORK (BankingMyWay) — If rainy days and Mondays always get you down, you might not approve of research showing the first weekday is the best day to put the kibosh on a smoking habit.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says that 70% of U.S. smokers want to kick the habit, but not many get the job done. In fact, smokers who vow to kick their nicotine habits on New Years Day will be “puffing away” by Groundhog Day, Hopkins researchers report.

Some other data from Johns Hopkins on smoking habits:

  • It takes anywhere from eight to 11 tries to quit smoking successfully.
  • The average smoker who promises to quit will relapse by the eighth day.
  • Smokers would do well to “target” a day to quit – and that day is Monday.

Why Monday? Why not?

Study researchers say that instead of targeting “big event” days such as your birthday or New Year’s Day, smokers should commit to quit on Monday, then reaffirm that commitment every Monday of the year.

“Research shows that Monday is the day people are open to starting healthy behaviors, so it’s a good day to quit, celebrate success and recover from relapses,” explains Joanna Cohen, director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Smoking is the No. 1 cause of preventable death, so encouraging additional quit attempts has the potential to save lives.”

Hopkins researchers call Monday the “January” of the weekly calendar. It’s also a day where smokers are more likely to focus on their nicotine habits and more amenable to take healthy steps to stop puffing on those coffin nails. The data also show Monday as the day most call quit-smoking phone lines looking for help and the day Google searches for “stop smoking” information spikes.

Johns Hopkins has launched an initiative called “Quit & Stay Quit Monday” under its Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit initiative created with Columbia and Syracuse University that dedicates the first weekday of every week to good health.

The initiative is the brainchild of Sid Lerner, who says he adheres to the adage, “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch, but yard by yard, life is hard.”

“Smoke cessation shouldn’t be an annual all-or-nothing,” Lerner says. “When quitters check in once a week, they get 52 chances a year to celebrate success or quickly try again.”

The Quit and Stay Quit Monday website is here. If you’re a smoker looking for a way out of a nasty habit, it could be a lifesaver — literally.

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