Tools to Help You Stop Smoking
There are many tools available to help you successfully navigate the first few difficult weeks after quitting cigarettes.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).
This includes nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, sprays and lozenges. Sprays and inhalers require a prescription but the rest can be purchased directly, at your convenience. These products can help you slowly decrease your intake of nicotine, while also breaking the behavioral habits associated with smoking. It is important that you follow directions for use carefully and consistently in order to get the desired results without added risk to your health. Gradually reducing your nicotine consumption in this way can help relieve the unpleasant symptoms of sudden nicotine withdrawal, and therefore significantly increases your chances of quitting successfully.
Medicines such as Bupropion SR require a doctor’s prescription, and are used to ease withdrawal symptoms and decrease the urge to smoke. Possible side effects include sleep disturbance and dry mouth. As with any medication, your doctor can help you determine if this is something you want to try as part of your stop smoking strategy.
Note: neither nicotine replacement therapies or other medical treatments to help stop smoking are safe for use during pregnancy, so if you are pregnant and trying to quit, it is essential that you consult with your doctor and explore non-medicinal approaches. Quitting before getting pregnant is the best way to protect the health of your baby.
There are drug-free methods of quitting smoking, including hypnotherapy, acupressure and meditation, all of which can help reduce cravings naturally, as well as promote a deeper sense of calm and relaxation to help you through your early quitting stages. Nicotine withdrawal is an unpleasant but temporary experience. Understanding what you should expect during this phase, and having a plan for dealing with the symptoms as they arise will vastly improve your chances of quitting successfully.
Stopping smoking will involve making changes in your behavior, as well as in how you think about cigarettes, so any tool you use to help you stop smoking will work best in combination with a clearly defined strategy and an understanding of why you want to quit. Your desire to stop smoking is your strongest weapon against nicotine addiction, and is the most crucial component of any plan to quit smoking. Develop a clearly defined set of reasons to quit, and goals to reach so that you can remind yourself of these during moments of temptation. Know ahead of time what techniques you will use in order to reach those goals, and have a support network to help you along the way. One step at a time, you can walk away from your smoking habit and leave it behind forever.