Mark Twain may have said “Quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it a thousand times”. Quitting smoking is possible if you effectively control and manage the approach to quit smoking with adequate counseling. Many anti-smoking organizations like the National Cancer Institute urge smokers to quit for the damage it causes to the body and the environment.
Smoking cessation is medical lingo for quitting smoking. It is an important part of cancer prevention, as smoking is the single most preventable cause of death from cancer. Although most people associate smoking with lung cancer, it is also associated with cancers of the mouth, voice box, esophagus, pancreas, kidney and bladder. Women-smokers are at risk of cervical cancer. For these dangers that smoking poses to health, people are advised to quit smoking.
Ways to Quit Smoking:
Some approaches are medications, psychotherapy, special classes and programs. Smoking is hard habit to break as a person’s emotions, social life as well as physical addiction to nicotine are all inter-linked. To successfully quit smoking, a balanced combination of these techniques is required and it varies from one individual to other. So, it is advised to get guidance from your doctor.
How to Quit Smoking: Types of Treatment Available
- Nicotine replacement therapy gives the smoker a measured supply of nicotine without other harmful chemicals available in tobacco. This treatment helps to reduce physical craving for cigarettes. There are Transdermal patches, which are non-prescription items, to supply nicotine through the skin, with subsequent doses lowered over a period of weeks ensuring a gradual weaning away.
- Nicotine gum- is a fast-acting nicotine replacement treatment that is absorbed through the mouth tissues. The gum is chewed slowly by keeping against the cheek for about half an hour and doesn’t require a prescription.
- Nicotine nasal spray – gives nicotine via the nasal tissues and works faster than the patches or gum. But it requires a prescription from a doctor.
- Nicotine inhalers are plastic tubes containing nicotine plugs. It gives off nicotine vapor when the smoker puffs on the tube. These are preferable, as they are similar to cigarettes (but these too need a doctor’s prescription).
- Bupropion is antidepressant medication given to reduce symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. This treatment helps people quit smoking and its success rate is greater when combined with nicotine replacement therapy. An anti-anxiety medication called Buspirone or BuSpar, is also known to be effective for nicotine withdrawal therapy.
- Group therapy and programs for smoking cessation help in reinforcing a smoker’s decision to give up tobacco through motivation lectures, talk sessions and group counseling. Educating smokers about common problems that can happen during quitting and offering emotional support are highly helpful.
- Alternative therapies like Acupuncture are also popular amongst those wanting to quit smoking. Other helpful complementary treatments include: movement therapies like yoga, T’ai chi and dance, and herbal remedies like tea and potions.
Nicotrol Inhaler for Quit Smoking
Nicotrol inhaler is also known as nicotine inhalation system. It consists of a plastic cartridge and a mouthpiece delivering 4 mg of nicotine from a perforated or porous plug which contains 10 mg of nicotine. This cartridge is inserted into the mouthpiece before using it. This is a quit smoking aid. Hence, nicotrol inhaler acts as a type of smoking deterrent. This functions by delivering low levels of nicotine, which aids you to quit smoking by minimizing physical signs of withdrawal symptoms.
Don’t Use Nicotrol Inhaler
- You continue to use snuff, chew, smoke tobacco nor any other form of nicotine products.
- You have an irregular, severe heartbeat or chest pain.
- You have had a recent heart attack.
- You are allergic to any of the ingredients in nicotrol inhaler.
If you experience any of the conditions, then immediately consult your health care provider or doctor.
Before Using Nicotrol Inhaler
A few medical complications may react with nicotrol inhaler. Hence, tell your pharmacist or doctor if you have any health problem. Also, be careful if any of the following apply to you:
- If you have blood flow problems, liver or kidney problems, diabetes, tumor in the adrenal gland, ulcer, overactive thyroid, breathing problems, high blood pressure, history of heart attack, irregular heartbeat or chest pain.
- If you have allergies to foods, medicines or any other substances.
- If you are taking any dietary supplement, herbal preparation or prescription medicines.
- If you are expecting a baby, planning for one or breast-feeding your newborn.
A few drugs can interact with nicotrol inhaler. Inform your doctor or health care provider if you are taking any form of drugs. For example, if you are taking tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline) or asthma medicines (theophylline), then the side effects of using nicotrol inhaler may be increased.
Quit Smoking Tips Through Lifestyle Changes
Smoking is a menace for your health as well as for your loved ones (secondhand smoke). Here are a few quit smoking tips through lifestyle changes which will definitely help you to kick the habit. The first and foremost thing you can do is set a quit day and COMPLETELY stop smoking on that specific day.
Tips to Quit Smoking through Lifestyle Changes
Here are a few stop smoking tips which will surely help you to kick the habit. This includes:
- Recognize the moments when you mostly feel like smoking. For instance, do you feel like smoking when you are stressed out? Or you feel the urge when you are going for a night out with your pals? While you are having a cup of tea or coffee?
- Maintain a diary or account which will help you to determine and identify such risky attempts. Each time you smoke a fag, record it and include what you are doing and even the time of day.
- Think of a plan about what you can do instead of smoking at those moments when you feel the urge to smoke cigarettes. For instance, try to drink tea and avoid coffee – tea may not have the same desirable effect for smoking. Also, you can take a walk when you are stressed out. Remove cigarettes and ashtrays from your car. Place hard candies or pretzels instead.
- Let all your colleagues, friends and family members know about you quit smoking initiative. Tell them about your quit date. Just the simple awareness that they know about your quit smoking plan can act as a motivator and reminder.
Try to kick the habit with a strong will and determination. Stay smoke-free and enjoy the new breath of life!
Diet to Quit Smoking – A Study
“Vegetables and milk make cigarettes taste bad and help you quit smoking. And, if you are trying to quit smoking leave caffeinated beverages, alcoholic beverages and meat because they make cigarettes taste better”, says a Duke University study.
Generally we relate cigarette addiction to nicotine. But a research study done Duke University psychologist F. Joseph McClernon says that addiction to smoking is also about sensory effects like taste and smell.
The researchers say that caffeinated beverages, alcoholic beverages and meat make one smoke more and more. And, at the same time, some foods make their cigarettes taste worse. Those foods are fruits and vegetables, non-caffeinated beverages like water and fruit juices, and dairy beverages and foods.
It is also found that menthol-cigarette smokers feel the same taste no matter what kind of foods and beverages they take. It’s because menthol can lessen the effect of taste deadening or enhancing.
The health experts suggest those who are planning to quit smoking to drink more water and eat more carrots and celery sticks.
Anyway, eating more fruits and vegetables not only help you quit smoking; they also help them have a healthier life.
Quit Smoking Patches
Quit smoking patches are nicotine patches. This is generically known as nicotine transdermal system. In the U.S, this patches are available since 1992 by prescription. Since July 1996, quit smoking patches are available over-the-counter (OTC). These are self-adhesive, small patches that you simply stick on your skin.The nicotine present in the patches enters the bloodstream. When one uses any form of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), a high nicotine level is seen in the blood. This lowers down until you need another dose and increase your level of nicotine. Read on to know more about quit smoking patches.
The quit smoking patches come in a range of strengths. You gradually go from the strongest patch to the weakest one. On the later stage, you quit using any patches.
Advantages of Nicotine Patches
These patches constantly supply a steady nicotine level; you can wear them anywhere but not while bathing or swimming; and they refrain you from smoking because if you smoke while you are wearing one of these patches or even afterwards, you may suffer from nicotine overdose symptoms, like death.
Disadvantages of Nicotine Patches
The disadvantages of nicotine patches include
- Irritate the skin where you wear these patches
- Relatively expensive
- Experience weird dreams
- Nicotine overdose if one smokes while wearing nicotine patch
Facts about Nicotine Patches
- Not a good choice for those who are allergic to adhesive tape or have skin problems.
- The skin may become red after removing the nicotine patch. Consult a doctor immediately if you develop a skin rash.
- The process lasts for 8-12 weeks and they come in various doses – 21 mg, 14 mg and 7 mg.
- Every day, a new site should be used to wear the nicotine patch on the skin. The same skin site should not be used again for a week.
Drugs to Quit Smoking
In the United States, around 46% of smokers try to quit smoking each year, with only 10% of them successfully kicking the habit for good. The success rate of stopping smoking in long-term is mere 5%, although this occurs without any external help.Drugs to quit smoking can be a great aid for those who fail to quit smoking despite trying hard. These drugs enhance the success rate as well as minimize the withdrawal symptoms including cravings. There are various drugs available to quit smoking – Chantix, Zyban, Nicotine Replacement like Nicorette and Habitrol. Chantix is relatively a newer drug when compared to the other drugs to quit smoking.
Chantix – Quit Smoking Drug
This is available in the form of a tablet which helps in stop smoking. Its main ingredient is known as varenicline. This drug was given approval by the FDA in May 2006. It is only available on prescription in the United States. Chantix is usually started one week before stop smoking.
Zyban – Another Quit Smoking Drug
This drug also comes in a tablet form. Its main ingredient is known as bupropion. This substance is also found in the medicine, Wellbutrin, which is used as an anti-depressant drug. Zyban is started nearly two weeks before quitting smoking. Also, this drug is available only on a doctor’s prescription.
Nicotine Replacement for Quitting Smoking
This therapy includes many drugs which contain nicotine as the main ingredient. These medicines are used to quit smoking. These medications are started at the same time when smoking is stopped. This therapy includes Nicotrol inhaler or nose spray, Nicorette gum, Nicoderm CQ patches (16 or 24 hours), Habitrol patches and Commit lozenges.
Hence, one should be aware of the drugs to quit smoking as these will immensely help to quit the habit for good.