Real Research aims to know the perception of smokers and non-smokers about quitting the act. This can provide a general outlook on the reasons why people have tried to stop and what they think are the most effective ways to stop smoking.

Perception of smoking has varied over time and from one place to another. Some see it as sophisticated and bold, while others see it as sinful and taboo. But among these, smoking as a deadly health hazard is the most alarming one. Direct smoke inhalation, as well as second-hand smoking, poses risks on physical, physiological, and psychological problems.

Experts revealed that male and female smokers lose an average of 14 years of their lives,  respectively. Hence, smokers die earlier as a result of smoking. Due to this, governments and other enterprises are taking measures to promote smoking abstinence. They run ads to discourage use, limit ads that promote the use and provide help for those who decide to stop smoking.


  • Of all the respondents, mostly people aged 19 to 40s have experienced smoking.
  • On average, they are regular smokers who only smoke less than 5-10 sticks a day.
  • Around 70% of the respondents have tried to stop smoking, mainly because of physical reasons such as poor physical fitness and health.
  • Top smoking withdrawal symptoms they experienced were dizziness, depression, binge, snacking, headache, and anxiety.
  • Respondents revealed that the most effective ways to stop smoking would be to use anti-smoking supplements like nicotine patches and anti-smoking gum, visiting smoking clinics, and notifying people around you about your decision.

The Real Research Anti-Smoking Survey has gathered data from 10,000 respondents. Based on demographics, the male population (84.5%) is more dominant than females (15.5%). This is fairly unsurprising as according to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost one billion men in the world smoke. Other than that, smoking has also been portrayed by its sellers as a masculine habit, linked to happiness, fitness, wealth, power, and sexual prowess.

Real Research Insights

When it comes to age, different age groups have shown almost equal clout on the survey results. We can therefore conclude that, on average, there are small age differences when it comes to the smoking community. As seen in the figure above, people aged 19 to 40s form 85% of the respondents’ population, with the remaining ones being aged 40 and above.

Real Research Insights

Geographically-speaking, the majority of the responses are derived from people residing in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, the United States, and South Korea. Some of these countries are among the top consumers of cigarettes worldwide.

People Do Not Smoke a Lot: Less than 5-10 Sticks Per Day

With almost 72% of the respondents affirming that they have experienced smoking, these smokers claimed to be only light smokers. The majority of them (43%) only consume less than five sticks a day.

Real Research Insights

Around 21% smoke less than 10 sticks a day while less than 10% consume about 15 sticks a day. Heavy smokers that finish less than 20 sticks a day, as well as more than 1 pack a day, are roughly 5% in total. Nearly 20% disclosed that they do not smoke at all.

70% of Smokers Tried to Stop, Mainly Due to Physical Reasons

Approximately 70% of smokers have admitted that they attempted to stop smoking. When asked for the reason why they have decided to quit, the top-most reason revealed is physical-related (59%). These include poor physical fitness and poor health.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking can lead to the development of various diseases and disabilities. Moreover, it can harm nearly every organ of the body. Due to excessive smoking inhalation, acute respiratory infections and slowed lung functions occur which gravely affects the physical well-being of smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke.

Real Research Insights

Almost 15% answered pregnancy, pertaining to female smokers. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of health problems for babies including premature birth, low birth weight, and birth defects of the mouth and lip. Aside from that, it can cause increased chances of miscarriage and stillbirth.

Less than 10% are influenced by their friends and acquaintances to stop smoking as well as the government’s anti-smoking measure that led to an increase in cigarette prices.

Common Smoking Withdrawal Symptoms: Dizziness and Depression

Based on this Real Research survey results, the most common smoking withdrawal symptoms encountered by the users who decided to stop smoking are dizziness (35%) and depression (20%).

Nicotine, commonly associated with tobacco and cigarettes, is what makes smoking addictive. It can have a wide range of effects on the brain such as boosting mood, enhancing concentration and short-term memory as well as reducing appetite and depression.

Real Research Insights

As a result, when people stop suddenly taking it, the body reacts in a different way. Binge, an act of excessive or compulsive consumption, is also one of the withdrawal symptoms experienced by over 10% of the respondents. These may include binge drinking or eating.

Another 10% of the sampling population also experienced headaches, anxiety, and pain in the throat, gum, and tongue. Typically, symptoms of nicotine withdrawal typically peak within two to three days or even longer depending on how long a person has been smoking and how many sticks are they smoking on a regular basis.

Effective Ways to Stop Smoking

Realistically, stopping your smoking habits is good for your health. When asked about the most effective way to stop smoking, roughly 50% of the respondents agreed that using anti-smoking supplements such as nicotine patches and anti-smoking gum works.

Coming in second is visiting smoking clinics where more or less 20% of the respondents think will also be effective. Gaining support from others by notifying people about your abstinence from smoking seems to be also helpful to over 10% of the respondents.

Real Research Insights

Experts say that chances of successfully quitting are even better when you combine counseling with the usage of one or more anti-smoking products. On the other hand, the minority of respondents thinks that avoiding smoking areas and parties, in general, will also be effective, along with proper dietary options.

If you decide to quit smoking, you can start making small changes to your lifestyle. This can help you resist the temptation to light up. The next you may be triggered to smoke again: remember the reason why you wanted to quit, get moving, communicate with your friends, and keep yourself busy (from work or other hobbies).


Survey TitleAnti-Smoking Survey
DurationDecember 26-27, 2020
Number of Participants10,000
DemographicsMale and female, aged 19 to 60+
Participating CountriesAfghanistan, Algeria, American Samoa, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, AzerbaijanBahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar [Burma], Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.