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Smokers Most Likely to Think About Quitting on Mondays

Update Date: Oct 28, 2013 06:09 PM EDT
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Mondays may not be all that bad. New research reveals that the first day of the week is when smokers are most likely to think about quitting.

Researchers monitored the global Google search query logs from 2008 to 2012 in English, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish for searches related to gutting like "help quit smoking" to examine weekly patterns in smoking cessation contemplations for the first time.

The study revealed that searches about quitting smoking happens more often early in the week, with the highest query volumes on Mondays, Researchers found that this pattern was consistent across all six languages, suggesting a worldwide predisposition to thinking about quitting smoking early in the week.

"Popular belief has been that the decision to quit smoking is unpredictable or even chaotic," researcher John W. Ayers of San Diego State University said in a news release.

"By taking a bird's-eye view of Google searches, however, we find anything but chaos. Instead, Google search data reveal interest in quitting is part of a larger collective pattern of behavior dependent on the day of the week," Ayers added.

Researchers said that campaigns for people to quit may benefit from shifting to weekly cues.

"We know it takes smokers many quit attempts before they succeed, so prompting them to try again on Mondays may be an effective and easy to implement campaign," said co-researcher Joanna E. Cohen, Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Global Tobacco Control, according to a news release.

Researchers explained that reaching out to people when they're thinking about their smoking habit makes more of a difference.  Researchers also noted that social support is an important factor in helping people quit smoking. Knowing that they are not alone can help smokers follow through on their intentions to quit tobacco.

"If you're a smoker, just remember: quit this Monday. Everyone else is doing it," Ayers concluded. 

The findings are published in the journal Journal of the American Medical Association, Internal Medicine. 

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