Let's be clear: Any day is a great day to quit smoking. But the beginning
of the work week appears to be a good time to end this dangerous habit.
Around the world, Monday is the most popular day of the week for people
to search the internet for information about quitting smoking.
According to a study published in
JAMA Internal Medicine, smokers have weekly rhythms in thinking about quitting or making attempts
to quit. The researchers studied Google searches in English, French, Mandarin/Cantonese,
Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish from 2008 to 2012. They analyzed search
terms related to stopping smoking, like "quit" and "smoking,"
and "quit smoking help."
They found over the course of the week, the number of queries about quitting
smoking is highest on Monday, and dropped off each day of the week through
the following Saturday. This suggests the average smoker is least interested
in quitting on Saturday, and most interested on Monday.
"It makes sense to start a stop-smoking program on a day when your
interest level is high," says
James DeCock, MD
, a family medicine physician at
Mission Heritage Medical Group
in Laguna Niguel. "If you're quitting reluctantly, you're
less likely to stick with it."
And for health advocates, it makes sense to target campaigns to you on
the day you are most likely to pay attention. Several Monday-based anti-smoking
programs are out there to help you quit.
"Think of Monday as a fresh start day," Dr. DeCock continues.
"It's an opportunity to strengthen your resolve and head out
on the path. If you want to quit smoking, use the first day of the week
to set your mark and make it your mission to quit."
Many smokers try to quit on a big day, like their birthday, or on a day
that comes once a year, like New Year's Day, or at a big annual event, like the
American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout.
"Picking a big day to quit has worked for a lot of people because
it makes that day a landmark," says Dr. DeCock. "But if you
relapse, it can make for a long time between quit attempts while you wait
for the next big day."
And it's hard to quit smoking because nicotine is so addictive. So
many smokers try to quit and fail, then try and fail again, over and over.
But don't let yourself get discouraged.
"It takes most smokers more than one attempt to quit," Dr. DeCock
says. "The great thing about Monday is that it comes every week.
If you weren't able to make it through this week without a cigarette,
get your act together and try again next Monday. Don't put it off
until the next big day."
For more information on Monday quitters movements, see
Quit & Stay Quit Monday and
I Quit Mondays.
For more information about Mission Heritage Medical Group, click
here. For more information about Dr. DeCock, click