3 Big Reasons Cold Turkey Doesn’t Work Any Way You Slice It

If quitting methods were people, “Cold Turkey” would be the toughest guy in the room.

Cold Turkey would be over 6’ tall, and he’d look like he does push ups all day. You wouldn’t mess with Cold Turkey. But this tough guy has a little secret: He’s not as powerful as he looks. He’s all gobble, if we can put it that way. As an actual method of quitting, cold turkey is very straightforward.

In case you’ve never heard of it, this quitting method means to simply stop doing the thing in question. That’s it.

Quitting nicotine cold turkey, therefore, would mean tossing your vape in the trash or flushing your tobacco cigarettes down the toilet. The end! You never consume nicotine again… Supposedly. Simple? Yes. But simple doesn’t mean easy. The cold turkey method is the hardest way to quit nicotine, so maybe that’s why it has such a tough-guy reputation. The problem is that this method doesn’t work. It doesn’t work any better than, say, quitting your job and expecting a paycheck.

Quitting nicotine is hard enough, folks.

So what – you’re gonna make it even harder with the cold turkey method? What’s next? Climbing a snowy mountain in flip-flops? Mountain climbers bring the right gear, and victorious quitters do the same (hint: filtered hemp pre-rolls).

But let’s clear this up once and for all with 3 big reasons cold turkey just ain’t gonna fly.

#1 Cold Turkey is Not Effective 

Cold turkey doesn’t work. How’s that for a reason? It’s estimated that less than 5% of quitters who try cold turkey will succeed. Cold turkey is actually less effective than—get this—using a medical placebo. In case you don’t know, a placebo is a pretend solution like a sugar pill when you have a headache – only the person thinks they’re taking Aspirin or Tylenol or something. Believe it or not, this actually works once in a while.

But it’s pretty rare. 

And what’s even more rare is cold turkey doing the job of getting you nicotine free. Impossible? No. But if you manage to actually quit cold turkey, go buy a lottery ticket because you’re one lucky quitter. For the rest of us, best to play it smart and go the hemp roll route.

turkey legs, fresh spice on a gray background

#2 Cold Turkey is a Great Way to Punish Yourself

Abruptly quitting a physical addiction like nicotine causes pain and suffering. Mental or physical, you ask? Both. Cold turkey quitters will get hit hard by withdrawal. Of course, craving is a natural consequence of getting off the nicotine train.

But given how easy it is to cave in to cravings, there is no reason to maximize the hurt.

Some people say that extreme withdrawal symptoms “motivate” you to quit this nasty habit for good. In reality, what will happen is that you’ll be so desperate for the suffering to stop that you’ll end up doing the one thing that can make all the pain go away: using nicotine. Then, when you’re ready to try quitting again, you’ll remember how painful withdrawal was (due to having chosen the most painful possible method, i.e. cold turkey).

You’ll recoil from the memory of that pain and quitting will seem less possible than ever.

It will likely take a few tries to finally kick your nicotine habit. That’s perfectly normal. Maybe more than a few! Maybe 3 attempts, and maybe 30. Everyone is different. But if you make quitting as hard as possible, not only are you more likely to relapse, but you’ll never want to try again.  

#3 Cold Turkey is Bad for Your Body

Quitting any serious addiction may warrant the supervision of a doctor. It can be dangerous to suddenly take nicotine away from your body. Even quitting something as minor as caffeine can cause migraines and powerful nausea. Nicotine withdrawal is generally worse, and it should be taken seriously.

When your body is used to nicotine, then quitting suddenly will cause it to “rebel.”

You may experience fluctuations in your heart rate and blood pressure, become depressed, get anxious, and find yourself at greater risk of replacing the nicotine with something else like alcohol (or worse, opiates). Weaning yourself off at a more comfortable pace is the way to go. Cut down your nicotine intake just a little to start. Let’s say you smoke 15 cigarettes per day.

Try smoking a hemp roll in place of your 15th cigarette.

After a week or so of this, replace another cigarette with a hemp roll. So on and so forth. Experiment with this and see how it feels. Take it nice and slow. Make the change as smooth and comfortable as possible. 

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