(ABC News) – Cigarettes – a nasty habit and no secret that it’s one that is hard to stub out.
And yet, whether due to a health scare, a new year’s resolution, or a general desire to be healthier, many American smokers each year aim to quit.
But if a smoker says he has quit should you trust him?
Researchers writing in the Journal Addiction followed more than four thousand smokers for six months after a hospital stay. By this time, nearly 1,200 of them claimed to have kicked the habit.
But the researchers tested them on this claim, using a spit test to see whether they had evidence of nicotine in their systems, which would indicate that they had smoked recently.
42 percent of the study participants who said they quit– failed the test.
The results, likely a result of the stigma of falling off the wagon, or perhaps the pressure of telling a doctor that efforts to stop smoking failed.
But the lesson here, don’t be afraid to be honest. Your doctor wants to help. And they just might have ways to tell if you are lying.