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Health professionals and guidelines suggest that people planning to quit smoking should smoke as normal until they reach a quit day then stop smoking completely on that day. Many people who smoke find this thought daunting and instead choose to cut down in preparation. Is this a bad idea? We have tested this in our research programme.

Our Cochrane systematic review showed no clear evidence that cutting down first was a bad idea, but there were not enough trials to be sure. 

> Read the review here (includes an easy-to-read summary)

> Listen to a podcast

Our research trial showed that cutting down first reduced success rates, because people struggled to cut down even with the help of nicotine replacement therapy and doing so deterred people from trying to quit.

> Trying to quit cigarette smoking by cutting down or stopping abruptly - a summary for patients

Our Cochrane systematic review showed no clear evidence that cutting down first was a bad idea, but there were not enough trials to be sure. 

> Read the review here (Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews)

> Listen to a podcast

Our research trial showed that cutting down first reduced success rates, because people struggled to cut down even with the help of nicotine replacement therapy and doing so deterred people from trying to quit.

> Trial protocol (Trials)

> Trial results: Gradual versus abrupt smoking cessation: A randomized, controlled noninferiority trial (Annals of Internal Medicine)