Smokers mull over kicking the butt on Monday

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Desperate to beat the addiction of smoking but still remain hooked? Try kicking the butt on a Monday!

The findings of a rather intriguing study on Google searches indicate that smokers are more likely to quit their habit of lighting up (or at least mull over it) on a Monday.

Statistics reveal that more people are more prone to search for “quit smoking help” and similar terms on the first day of the week.

“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 Joanna E Cohen, coauthor and Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Global Tobacco Control.

Details of the study
The researchers from San Diego State University, the Santa Fe Institute, The Monday Campaigns and the Johns HopkinsBloomberg School of Public Health under took a novel study to examine the weekly patterns in smoking cessation deliberations by smokers.

For the purpose of the study, experts scrutinized global Google search query logs from 2008 to 2012 in English, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish for searches tied to kicking the butt like ‘help quit smoking’.

Observations by researchers
It was noted that people are more inclined to search for smoking cessation early in the week! The highest query volumes for quit smoking searches were perceived on Mondays which gradually declined through the week and ebbed to the lowest point on Saturdays.

Morgan Johnson, research director for The Monday Campaigns, explained, “People see Mondays as a fresh start, a chance to get their acts together.”

The pattern remained steady across all six languages, hinting at a global tendency of contemplating kicking the habit early in the week, especially on Mondays. Statistics for English searches reveal that Monday query volumes were 11 percent higher than on Wednesdays, 67 percent larger than on Fridays, and 145 per cent greater than on Saturdays.

The degree of Monday query volumes were 25 percent more than the total average number of searches for Tuesday through Sunday in all the six languages, the study found.

The study’s lead author, San Diego State University’s John W Ayers stated, “Popular belief has been that the decision to quit smoking is unpredictable or even chaotic. 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 behaviour dependent on the day of the week.”

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Internal Medicine.

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