Best Methods to ‘Stop Smoking’

Best Methods to ‘Stop Smoking’

 

Cold Turkey:

The Cold turkey method is the most commonly used technique in America and around the world. Approximately 90% of all smokers who attempt to quit try doing so without the aid of nicotine replacement therapy, medication or other aides. It is also the least effective method when tried without a good plan. It is the most challenging method and requires a lot of will and willpower, but it is also the fastest method and is recommended for people who need to quit urgently due to serious medical issues.

It may be hard to believe, but the majority of people who have successfully quit smoking have done so by quitting cold turkey, these people decided that they would never take another cigarette and they followed through on that promise Statistics from the American Cancer Society confirm that more than 80% of those who have successfully quit smoking did so by the cold turkey method, but they did it with a lot of morale support from other people and tried several times (20) before they were successful.


Nicotine Replacement

Nicotine replacement therapies are designed to provide individuals suffering from nicotine addiction a safer alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes, thereby easing the quitting process. Nicotine replacement therapies can take the form of gum, patches, inhalers or nasal sprays.

Many people successfully quit smoking when they use some sort of nicotine therapy. The objective here is to gradually reduce the amount of nicotine going into your body and finally get rid of the nicotine and nicotine replacement entirely. This weans your body off of smoking slowly but without smoking the other harmful ingredients in cigarettes. You will still feel the effects of nicotine reduction on your body, but you won’t be suffering from all the negative effects of smoking a cigarette. It’s not the safest way to quit smoking, but it works  for a large number of people.

The use of NRT can increase the success rate of quitting by almost 50% . After one year, the success rate for NRT is between 6% and 16%, with nicotine patches proving to be marginally more effective than nicotine gum. The side effects caused by the use of NRT include dizziness, upset stomach, blurred vision, skin irritation (from patches) and headaches.

Electronic cigarettes are another form of nicotine replacement therapy. Several brands offer e-liquids of varying nicotine content that can be useful in gradually decreasing your nicotine intake. This avoids the 7,000 chemicals that analogue cigarettes produce. Instead, e-cigarettes simply utilize a heating coil to gently vaporize the e-liquid.

An added benefit of e-cigarettes over other forms of NRT is that they directly address the habit of smoking itself.

E-cigarettes help aid the oral fixation most smokers struggle with after quitting, and they make the transition to becoming a non-smoker less stressful.

These devices are also cheaper than purchasing a pack of traditional cigarettes every day. After purchasing a starter kit for an average of $40, which is cheaper than a standard carton of cigarettes, the only cost is replacing the cartridge and e-liquid. The average cost for a pack of cartridge is about $5 for a pack of five and each one should last about a week.

The standard cost of e-liquid is about $15 for a 15ml bottle. This will last around two weeks. This puts the total weekly cost at about $8.25, as opposed to $42 per week for traditional cigarettes.

Medications

Non-nicotine Medication – Certain prescription medications can be used to aid in quitting smoking. Some of them can even be used along with NRT in order to boost the chances of success. These medications do not contain nicotine, are non-habit-forming and are found to have a slightly higher success rate than NRT. The most popular ones on the market are Bupropion (known by the brand names of Zyban® or Wellbutrin®) and Varenicline (Chantix®).

  • Bupropion is an antidepressant that can reduce the effects of nicotine withdrawal. It should be taken for 7 to 12 weeks, starting 2 weeks before the planned quit date. The most common side effects of Bupropion include headaches, insomnia, fatigue, agitation, irritability, indigestion, and dry mouth.
  • Varenicline is a medication that interferes with the nicotine receptors in the brain. It can make smoking less pleasurable and reduce the symptoms of withdrawal. The side effects include headaches, nausea, vomiting, trouble sleeping, unusual dreams, and gas.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term therapy that focuses on specific problems in your life. It can be used to help quit smoking by changing the thought patterns that make the smoker experience cigarette cravings and teaches new and constructive ways to deal with stress or anxiety. It has been proven to increase the odds of success, especially when combined with smoking cessation programs or medication; but be forewarned, qualified and  competent specialists can be hard to come by and expensive.

Everyone is different, and the best method for you depends on your personality, circumstances and even genetic makeup. Don’t be afraid to experiment and change methods if you feel one isn’t working for you. Chances are that what feels most natural to you will work best. In the end, it doesn’t matter so much which method you used, but how dedicated you were to making it work.

Trigger Avoidance

There are certain Environmental triggers that can cause you to crave cigarettes more than you would in most other situations. For some people, that trigger is a stressful situation; for others, they simply have a set time and place where they smoke, perhaps when they are on break from work or when they are talking on the phone.

As you quit smoking, these triggers will become even more powerful so if you want to stop yourself from giving in, you need to ensure that these triggers don’t get activated. So that means actively avoiding situations that make you feel like you need a cigarette.

If you would normally smoke while on the phone, then keep a pen and paper handy to just doodle and scribble while you talk. If you would smoke on your lunch break, then do something to keep yourself engaged and distracted from smoking during that time, like taking a short walk.

Smoking Cessation Programs

There are numerous support groups and organizations out there for people who would like to quit smoking and who need some help doing so. It can be a struggle to quit smoking and fight the addiction, but it does not have to be one that you battle alone. Every state in the US has some sort of dedicated organization for smoking cessation; many of your local hospitals, churches, and charitable organizations will assist you as well but they do it from the phone and internet. If you need something more personal give us a call.

At ‘Smoke Break’ we do thing a bit differently, we will meet with you in an office setting and plan your cessation program with you, one on one. We will work with you to identify the aides and methods that will best fit your circumstances and that address the Behavioral, Psychological and Physiological challenges you will encounter.