Methods to Quit Smoking

Going “Cold Turkey”

“Cold Turkey” is quitting smoking without any help from any medications. it is a very difficult road to follow, and has a high failure rate because only the strongest and most determined people will succeed in this method of quitting.

As such, this method of quitting is not really recommended. One of the other quit smoking methods below will provide a better chance of success.

Quit-Smoking Programs

You may want to try a quit-smoking program or seek the services of a support group to help you quit. These programs can work well if you are willing to commit to them.

Quit-smoking programs and support groups work so well because they help smokers identify and deal with the problems the may face when trying to quit. The programs teach problem-solving and other coping skills.
Quit-smoking programs can help you quit for good because they:

    Help you better understand why you smoke
    Teach you how to handle withdrawal and stress
    Teach you tips to help resist the urge to smoke

In addition, your doctor, dentist, and pharmacist should be able to point you to places to find support or toll-free Quit Lines, such as The National Cancer Institute’s Smoking Quit line. (187744UQUIT)

If you decide to use a support program, then the best results with be achieved if you commit to using it fully. For example, attend all of the sessions, use your telephone quit line, visit the Internet sites for support, and so on. The more support you get, the more likely you are to succeed.

Medications, Gums, and Patches

Your doctor should be able to answer your questions and give useful advice about quitting smoking, and, in addition, they can suggest medications to help with your symptoms of withdrawal.

There are two types of medication that assist with quitting smoking:

    Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) Medications
    Non-Nicotine Replacement Therapy Medications

Using these medicines can greatly improve your chances of quitting for good. However, medications like these cannot do all the work. The medications can help with cravings and withdrawal, but quitting will still be difficult at times.

Your doctor will be able to determine which medication(s) are best for you.

However, as with all medications, please ensure that you carefully read the instructions (and warnings) on the packaging to ensure that the medication is right for you to use. If you are not sure, ask your doctor or a pharmacist.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) Medications

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) medications provide an alternative source of nicotine (so you no longer need to get the nicotine from cigarettes) and include:

    Nicotine gum
    Nicotine ihnaler: Prescription needed
    Nicotine lozenge
    Nicotine nasal spray: Prescription needed
    Nicotine patch

NRT medications can help with withdrawal and lessen your desire for a cigarette. However, some people experience mild side-effects when using NRT medications. In addition, NRT medications may not be suitable Pregnant women.

You need a prescription to buy the NRT inhaler and nasal spray. But no doctor’s prescription is needed for nicotine gum, nicotine patches, and nicotine lozenges so you can buy these over the counter at your local pharmacy or grocery store.

If you are using or thinking of using NRT, then please keep the following in mind:

Always carefully read the instructions that come with the medication. If you have any questions or if you are in any doubt about whether the medication is right for you, then ask your doctor, dentist, or pharmacist.

Also, such medications can cause side effects in some people. Pregnant women, in particular, must be very careful of what they take.

Using NRT correctly can take some getting used to. Follow the instructions carefully and be patient. The benefits of the medication may not be immediate, but they will occur sooner or later.

Never mix tobacco and NRT. Having one or two cigarettes while you use the gum, patch, nasal spray, inhaler, or lozenge is not dangerous. However, your goal is to quit smoking for good, not increase your body’s tolerance and need for nicotine. Only use NRT when you are ready to stop smoking. If you do slip up and smoke only a cigarette or two, then continue with the NRT and keep trying to quit smoking.

Use the full amount of NRT as recommended in the medication’s instructions. Do not skip or forget to use your NRT after you first stop smoking, as the nicotine withdrawal symptoms will return.

Slowly use less and less medication, as recommended by your doctor, but do not stop the therapy completely until you are truly ready. The best advice is to set-up a medication schedule with your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep some of the medication with you after you stop using it so that you are prepared if you suffer from a sudden withdrawal.

Always wait at least 30 minutes after using the gum, lozenge, or inhaler before you eat or drink anything acidic, such as oranges, orange juice, lemons, grapefruit, grapefruit juice, tomato sauce, tomatoes, coffee, and soda. Acidic foods and drinks can prevent nicotine gums and inhalers from working.

Non-Nicotine Replacement Therapy Medications

Non-Nicotine Replacement Therapy include antidepressant medications that do not contain or provide any nicotine, such as:

    Bupropion SR (such as Zyban)
    Varenicline Tartrate ( such as Chantix)

These medications contain no nicotine, but they still help with nicotine withdrawal and lessen the desire for cigarettes. You need a prescription to obtain these medications.

Some people experience side-effects when using these medications, such as dry mouth, insomnia, dizziness, and skin rash. In addition, these medications is not suitable for:

    Pregnant women
    People who suffer from seizures
    People with eating disorders
    Heavy drinkers
    People who are taking other medicines that contain bupropion hydrochloride.