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SOURCE The Monday Campaigns
Google searches for quitting smoking spike at start of each week
NEW YORK, Dec. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- It's that time of the year. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 120 million Americans will make New Year's resolutions, with health-related goals like quitting smoking topping the list. Unfortunately, most of those quitters will be puffing away by Groundhog Day.
Instead of encouraging smokers to plan one quit attempt around New Year's, which comes only once a year, experts believe a better strategy would be to follow a New Year's quit with a weekly recommitment to quit that takes advantage of natural weekly cycles.
In a 2013 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found that Mondays acted like a "mini-New Year's" in terms of the numbers of people going online to search for help in quitting smoking. Every week, there was a spike in Google searches for "quit smoking," demonstrating that people are more open to quitting on Mondays than other days of the week.
"On New Year's Day, interest in smoking cessation doubles," said the study's lead author, John Ayers of San Diego State University. "But New Year's happens one day a year. Here we're seeing a spike that happens once a week."
Besides catching smokers' attention on Mondays, weekly cues can help people stay on track with their quit attempts. Since it takes an average of seven to 10 quit attempts to succeed, encouraging people to requit or recommit to their quit attempt once a week can reduce the overall time it takes to quit for good.
Joanna Cohen, a co-author of the Google study and director of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Institute for Global Tobacco Control, believes "campaigns for people to quit may benefit from shifting to weekly cues to increase the number of quit attempts participants make each year." In other words, quitters can use Monday as a weekly re-set to make another quit attempt if they slip up.
Another advantage to Monday cues is that they tap into what the scientists describe as a collective mindset around quitting. Morgan Johnson, director of programs and research at the Monday Campaigns and another co-author of the Google paper, said that the surge in quitting contemplations on Monday can be used to provide social support for quitters, an important factor in long-term success. "People around the world are starting the week with intentions to quit smoking-if we can connect those people at school, work and communities we can make a regular 'Monday Quit' the cultural norm."
To learn more about the Quit and Stay Quit Monday initiative and receive weekly tips on sticking to your quits, visit www.mondaycampaigns.org. And to help you plan a resolution to quit that will last well past Groundhog Day, here are five tips that leverage the power of Monday to quit for good:
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