Quitting Smoking – A Synopsis of the Most Effective Methods
Smoking as a habit, leisure or addiction represents the most common and hazardous practice damaging the health of common man. Here we list a few quick facts:
- 25% of Americans smoke
- 70% of the American smokers wish to quit
- Smoking costs amount up to a whopping $ 50 billion dollar per year
- 3000 teenagers start smoking everyday
As stated by the US Surgeon General, “Smoking cessation represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.”
Here we list a few tips on how you can support yourself during the time you are trying to quit:
- Make an action plan
- Congratulate yourself over minor achievements
- Set a quit date
- Stay clear of smoking triggers
- Reward yourself
- Seek support from loved ones
Quit Smoking – Methods
The process of gradual reduction has proven to be the most common and successful methods. Methods include smoking only half the cigarette, or waiting an hour longer each day before lighting up the first cigarette of the day, or even smoking only during odd or even hours.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
The NRT provides nicotine, in the form of gums, patches, sprays, inhalers or lozenges, without the other harmful effects of tobacco. It can help relieve the initial symptoms of withdrawal, thereby allowing the quitter to concentrate on the psychological aspects of quitting.
To be the most effective, NRT should be started in the beginning of the quitting process.
Many professional agencies have specialized plans to help you quit. You can avail of a series of facilities like telephonic counseling, group counseling, smokers anonymous and many more.
Cold Turkey Approach
The ‘cold turkey’ method uses your will power, in drastically cutting down on the number of cigarettes you smoke in a single day.
It involves setting a reduction or quit date and simply act on the decided date without any prior reduction, preparation or nicotine withdrawal.
Drugs / Medications
A series of medications and drugs are available to help you quit. Zyban (buproprion) works by suppressing the part of the brain that gives the smoker a nicotine buzz when smoking a cigarette.
Varenicline (Chantix) is also a new drug, developed specifically to help people stop smoking.
Research shows that certain medications, such as Zyban, work the best when used as a part of an overall quitting plan.
There are several other additional methods that are effective in the process of quitting, though results vary in some cases. These are:
- Self help tapes and books
- Smoking deterrents
- Dietary supplements
- Atropine and scopolamine combination therapy