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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)