THE HEART OF THE MATTER
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) 

Week: 564.3 Guest: Dr. Eric Westman, researcher, Duke University Med. Cntr, Durham, NC Topic: The all important quit' day for smokers Producer/Host: Steve Girard

NEMA: New research on quitting smoking...in a moment...

SPOT: 15 years in the prevention of heart disease, stroke and trauma- the National Emergency Medicine Association. Call 800-332-6362.

NEMA: Want a simple test to determine on the first day whether your attempt to quit smoking will succeed? It comes to you from Dr. Eric Westman of the Duke University Medical Center, and improves on the old axiom that those who smoke during the first two weeks of a quit attempt usually don't make it....

WESTMAN: In these studies we looked at that first two weeks and found that most of that information is wrapped up in the first day of the quit attempt, so that if someone is able to go one full day without smoking the likelihood of going back to smoking in six months is ten times higher and so it's very unlikely that what you're using at that time will work in the long run.

NEMA: So, if you're using a patch and still have a high craving or take even a puff on a cigarette on that first day....

WESTMAN: re-evaluate what you're doing, get stronger medication and then try again.

NEMA: Over the counter nicotine patches cost about 4 dollars a day...220 dollars for an 8 week treatment. By the way, only 25% of patch users actually succeed in quitting smoking...maybe this new information will help. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.