The study, presented at EuroPrevent 2019, showed that couples who attempted to stop smoking together had a six-fold chance of success compared to patients who attempted it alone.
"Quitting smoking can be a lonely endeavour. People feel left out when they skip the smoke breaks at work or avoid social occasions. On top of that, there are nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Partners can distract each other from the cravings by going for a walk or to the cinema and encouraging replacement activities like eating healthy food or meditating when alone. Active support works best, rather than nagging," said Magda Lampridou, Researcher from the Imperial College London in Britain.
For the study, the researchers evaluated the supporting role married or cohabiting partners might have in smoking cessation and enrolled 222 current smokers who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease or had suffered a heart attack.
The couples attended preventive cardiology programmes and during the 16-week programme, they were offered nicotine replacement therapy with patches and gum. In one programme, participants could choose the prescription drug, varenicline instead.
At the end of the programme, the findings revealed that 64 per cent of patients and 75 per cent of partners had quit smoking compared to none and 55 per cent in the beginning.
Lampridou noted that research is needed to confirm the findings in smokers who are otherwise healthy.
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