If you have ever tried to quit smoking, you
probably know how difficult it can be. Within 5 seconds of taking a puff of smoke,
nicotine travels directly to the brain. It tells the brain to release chemicals that make
you want to smoke more. Quitting is hard. Usually people make 5 to 7 attempts or more
before they are finally able to quit. Studies have shown that each time you try to quit,
you will be stronger and will have learned more about what made you slip. Anyone can quit
smoking if they set their heart to it and. It does not matter about age, health, or
lifestyle. Having a quit plan is important and the support of others is also an important
ingredient. The first step in quitting is to pick a quit date, decide a plan on how you
are going to quit, keep a positive attitude and go for it!
most common smoking cessation methods are:
If you're a pack-a-day smoker, this means going from 20
to 0 cigarettes in the matter of a day. With the "cold turkey"
method, you completely stop your smoking all at once, relying on your will power to fight
your nicotine addiction.
A slow gradual reduction in the
number of cigarettes you smoke over time is a method that many people try. Methods include
smoking only half the cigarette, waiting an hour longer each day before lighting up your
first cigarette or smoking only during odd or even hours. Although you are weaning
yourself from addiction, you are still prolonging your exposure to the cancer-causing
chemicals in tobacco.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy:NRT
These products replace some of the
nicotine that you used to get from smoking. Nicotine replacement is used to wean you off
nicotine by replacing the very high concentrations of nicotine you get from smoking with
much lower doses delivered more slowly. It is a means of delivering nicotine without the
harmful tar, gases and other elements of smoking. NRT reduces the cravings for cigarettes
and the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting. NRT is the most throughly researched
method and tests have shown that, used correctly, it will double your chance of success -
which is good news for those who have found withdrawal very hard on previous attempts. If
you smoke your first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking, then you are more likely to
benefit from NRT.
To check you are using
NRT properly, always follow the manufacturers' instructions. Ask your pharmacist or doctor
if you are not sure. NRT is much safer than smoking but if you have a medical condition,
any health worries or are pregnant, it is important that you talk to your pharmacist
There are several forms
of nicotine replacement available - patches, gum, lozenge, nasal spray, inhalator and
lolipops. All of these products are available on NHS prescription. In addition, it is
possible to purchase them from pharmacists and some are available from supermarkets and
other retail outlets. Many of these products offer programmes of support to help smokers
through the quitting process.
The patch gives you a
continual supply of nicotine at a low dose while you are wearing it - so you can't respond
quickly to a craving or a stressful moment. The gum and the spray deliver a higher dose
quickly so you can respond to a craving with a "quick fix", as with cigarettes.
If you smoke steadily through the day, the patch may suit you better. If you smoke mainly
in response to cravings or stress, the gum or spray might be more flexible for you. One
study has compared the effectiveness of gum, patch, spray and inhalator and found that
they are similarly effective.
Patches, Gum, Nasal Spray ,Inhaler
Zyban is an anti-smoking pill that seems to reduce nicotine
withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke, and it contains no nicotine. The action of the
drug is still not fully understood, but it seems to have an effect on the chemicals in the
brain associated with nicotine addiction (which include beta-endorphins, acetylcholine,
dopamine and norepinephrine).
Low-level laser therapy utilizes
principles similar to the ancient healing art of acupuncture - a technique of inserting
and gently stimulating hair-thin needles into specific points of the body to trigger a
natural healing response. Low-level lasers simulate a very similar response by emitting a
fine-point "cold laser" into your skin which stimulates your body's endorphin
production system. Endorphins are natural chemicals in your body that signal your internal
system to decrease stress and increase energy. Consistent absorption of nicotine into your
body through cigarette smoking soon allows nicotine to take over and control your body's
endorphin reproduction system. By naturally restoring your body's endorphin levels through
low-level laser therapy, laser intervention can then remove the hold that nicotine has on
Hypnosis may be very
beneficial to assist in quitting smoking. The good news is that we learned that hypnosis
can be highly effective for smoking cessation; research shows that when done correctly the
success rate is slightly above 66%. Compare that to the success rates of trying to quit on
your own: 5%, using behavior therapy 25%, or using Nicotine Replacement Products, 25% and
hypnosis looks like the best option out there. In fact, there is no other method supported
by research that even comes close.
Acupuncture is a
healing technique derived from ancient Chinese medicine. As with hypnosis, acupuncture
works for those with a strong desire to quit.