Welcome to Pfizer Canada text only version
Skip Main Navigation Links

 Pfizer Canada

 Your Health

 Our Products


 Helping Communities

 Advancing Medicine

 Career Opportunities
Skip Secondary Navigation Links

 Press Releases      Contacts      Corporate Information     
Print this page
Cold Turkey is for LeftoversCOLD TURKEY IS FOR LEFTOVERS

~ Half of Canadians Plan to Quit Smoking 'Cold Turkey' in 2004 but Almost all Will Fail ~

TORONTO, Ontario - January 16, 2004

To coincide with National Non-Smoking Week (January 18-24, 2004), Pfizer Consumer Healthcare announced today the results of an omnibus survey about Canadian smokers who want to quit smoking in 2004. The omnibus survey shows that 61 per cent of smokers surveyed plan to quit smoking in 2004, and half plan to quit smoking 'cold turkey.' However, statistics show that up to 95 per cent of smokers who try to quit cold turkey will not succeed. Smokers who seek therapeutic assistance while quitting smoking can double their chances of success.

"I am pleased to hear that so many Canadian smokers plan to quit smoking in 2004," says Dr. Peter Selby, Addiction Medicine Specialist and Assistant Professor, Departments of Family and Community Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. "Quitting smoking is never easy but it can be done. With the desire and the right method, smokers can free themselves from tobacco dependence."

Those who only rely on willpower to stop smoking have a high relapse rate: about 25 per cent of those who quit cold turkey relapse after 48 hours, with the relapse rate rising to more than 60 per cent by two weeks after their quit-date.1 It is estimated that only 2.5 per cent to five per cent of smokers who quit on their own will remain abstinent for one year.2

Cold Turkey Is For Leftovers/2

People who attempt the cold turkey approach suffer severe withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, frustration, anxiety, and restlessness. Moreover, triggers lead to intense cravings that often overwhelm the smoker making them feel like failures when they smoke. Repeated failures may discourage them from even attempting to quit in the future.

"Smokers shouldn't be expected to quit smoking cold turkey," adds Dr. Selby. "In fact, studies have revealed that smoking is an addiction that for some smokers is harder to quit than heroin or cocaine. Using a therapeutic aid - like a nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT - in combination with counselling and social support is a great way to quit smoking and make it less stressful."

Improve Your Chances with an NRT

Nicotine replacement therapies are effective stop-smoking medications that are approved by Health Canada and are currently available in the form of nicotine gums and nicotine patches, without a prescription. Nicotine replacement medications make it easier to avoid smoking by replacing some of the nicotine obtained from tobacco.

"After my father was diagnosed with cancer, he wrote me a letter pleading with me to quit smoking," said Carole, a Canadian smoker who smoked for more than 30 years and recently quit. "After he passed away, I tried to quit smoking. I tried quitting cold turkey but I suffered withdrawal symptoms and wasn't myself. After consulting with my doctor on various therapeutic aids, I used Nicoderm and quit within three months. I granted my father's dying wish and I have never felt better."

About The Omnibus

Ipsos Reid conducted the omnibus with more than 1,000 Canadians from coast-to-coast. Each person surveyed was asked if they are currently a smoker. Current smokers (n=254) were asked if they plan to quit smoking in 2004; what method they plan to use to quit smoking; and if they plan to use an aid. The survey was sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

Cold Turkey Is For Leftovers/3

About Nicorette and Nicoderm

Both Nicorette (nicotine gum) and Nicoderm (nicotine patch) are nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) that are effective stop-smoking medications. Nicorette and Nicoderm relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings by providing users with lower overall nicotine levels than they receive with cigarettes. These medications enable smokers to function while they manage without cigarettes.

Both Nicorette and Nicoderm are safe for smokers. They provide nicotine to the smoker without the dangerous toxins that are present in cigarettes and cigarette smoke. These toxins, not nicotine, are responsible for the vast majority of smoking-caused diseases.

About Pfizer Consumer Healthcare

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (PCH) specializes in an extensive range of market-leading non-prescription healthcare products. With roots dating back to 1856, more than a century of innovation and consumer trust stand behind PCH products, including some of the most recognized and best-selling brands. From smoking cessation to cold and allergy relief and skin care, PCH products are part of everyday life and also part of the Pfizer family. The most recognizable brands include: Nicorette gum, Nicoderm, Benylin, Listerine, Lubriderm, Polysporin, Reactine and Zantac 75. In Canada, Pfizer employs more than 2,300 people across the country. Pfizer Canada Inc. is one of the top 15 investors in Canadian research and development, investing more than $152 million in 2002. For more information, visit www.pfizer.ca.

1- Garvey AJ, Bliss RE, Hitchcock JL, Heinold JW. Predictors of smoking relapse among self-quitters: a report from the Normative Aging Study. Addict Behav. 1992; 17:367-77.

2 -Canadian Council on Tobacco Control. Nicotine replacement therapies in smoking cessation, 1999.


Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez contacter :

For more information on Nicorette/Nicoderm or to arrange an interview with either a physician or patient, please contact:

Sandra Da Silva/
Jillian Reid Edelman

Tel.: 416-979-1120

Rhonda O’Gallagher
Pfizer Canada Inc.
Tel.: 514-693-4090
1-877-633-2001, ext. 4090

Archived Press Releases
 2000 2001 2002
 2003 2004

Contact Centre
Pfizer Global

Copyright © 2004 Pfizer Canada Inc. All rights reserved. Privacy Statement. Disclaimer. Customize this Site!