Yale UniversityIt is quite a well-known fact that smoking is extremely dangerous for our health and seems to be the primary cause for lung cancer. Apparently, since the past 7 years, numerous studies have exhibited that free telephone quitlines could assist people in giving up smoking. A new study from Yale Cancer Center and Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, proposes that giving more optimistic messages about the advantages of quitting could turn out to be even more favorable.

In 2007, Yale study authors headed by Benjamin Toll, assistant professor of psychiatry, and Provost Peter Salovey, the Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology, accounted that in combination with anti-depressants, alleged ‘gain-framed’ messages like ‘you will live longer if you quit smoking’ seems to be more effectual in aiding people to give up as opposed to ‘loss-framed’ messages such as ‘you will die sooner if you continue smoking’.

Toll, lead author of the paper, commented, “If we can change quitlines in any way to improve their services, we stand a chance of making a pretty broad change in prevalence rates of smoking, and of course down the line, we hope, in cancer rates.”

The study authors at Yale and colleagues at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute pondered if these optimistic messages could enable telephone quitlines to be even more effectual. Services like the New York State Smokers’ Quitline provide people nicotine replacement therapy and counseling sessions to aid them in giving up smoking. The experts performed a study including over 2000 people via the New York quitline to observe whether they could coach telephone counselors to provide the gain-framed counseling. They also wanted to see whether the inclusion of positive messages could transform into better abstinence rates.

The study authors supposedly discovered that after two weeks, approximately 23.3 percent of those receiving extra positive messages seemed to have attained abstinence from cigarettes as against roughly 12.6 percent who were given standard phone counseling with less gain-based messages.

Toll remarked, “Quitlines are an incredible resource to the smokers in this country who want to quit but are struggling to do so. This study shows that we should be scientifically testing novel counseling methods delivered via quitlines in an attempt to improve quit rates.”

Apparently the disparity in abstinence rates appeared to taper down to only two percent following three months. But Toll is of the opinion that this dissimilarity may be clinically significant. Moreover, including gain-based messages to such programs could have a considerable outcome in aiding millions of smokers who wish to quit smoking.

The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI).