ONLY between three and seven per cent of smokers who attempt to give up the habit alone actually succeed, according to a recent study carried out in Portugal. The majority of regular smokers want to quit smoking, concluded the study, but, despite this, apparently only a small minority of those who try to kick the addiction without help “continue to abstain in the long-term”. This figure does increase among those who receive medical assistance to between 15 and 30 per cent. The treatment can be short, taking just three to five minutes, or can involve intensive counselling. However, both methods also rely on medicinal therapy. The study recommends all smokers, who are attempting to give up, obtain regular treatment from a doctor. In Portugal, 12,000 people die every year from smoking related illnesses.