- Nicotine patch: Takes two to four hours to hit peak level; user can't adjust dose to meet cravings
- Nicotine gum: Must be chewed properly to get nicotine and avoid upset stomach; can cause mouth soreness or indigestion
- Nicotine inhaler: Requires frequent puffs; can irritate the mouth and throat
- Nicotine nasal spray: Can irritate the nose and throat; can cause cough
- Nicotine lozenge: Can cause sore mouth, indigestion, hiccups
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban, generic): Can cause insomnia, dry mouth, agitation; shouldn't be used by anyone with a seizure or eating disorder
- Varenicline (Chantix): Can cause nausea, headache, insomnia, and abnormal dreams; in rare cases, might cause suicidal thinking
1 AnswerThe following are disadvantages of using stop-smoking aids or nicotine replacement therapies for quitting smoking:
1 AnswerThe following are advantages of using stop-smoking aids or nicotine replacement therapies for quitting smoking:
- Nicotine patch: Provides a stable level of nicotine in the blood for 16 to 24 hours; easy to use
- Nicotine gum: Provides a rapid rise in blood level of nicotine; user can control dose to respond to cravings; oral substitute for a cigarette
- Nicotine inhaler: Provides a rapid rise in nicotine; user controls the dose; hand-to-mouth substitute for smoking
- Nicotine nasal spray: Offers the quickest increase in blood nicotine levels; user controls the dose
- Nicotine lozenge: User controls the dose; oral substitute for smoking
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban, generic): Easy to use; no nicotine involved
- Varenicline (Chantix) : Easy to use; no nicotine involved
1 AnswerFor women, timing a smoking quit date to their period can help them succeed. Studies find that kicking the smoking habit is especially tough for women during the menstrual cycle's luteal phase, which begins midcycle, just after ovulation. There's some evidence that women who time their quit date to occur during the follicular phase, which begins after menstruation and ends at ovulation, are more likely to abstain from cigarettes for a longer period than women who quit during the luteal phase.
2 AnswersLeigh Vinocur, MD, Emergency Medicine, answeredYou don’t have to go it alone -- cold turkey -- anymore. There are new medications on the market that help with the biochemistry related to addiction. Bupropion is an antidepressant discovered accidentally for nicotine addiction. It was found that depressed patients taking this medication also ended up quitting smoking even when they did not intend to do so. While the exact mechanism of how it works is not completely understood, many patients report their cravings are diminished and smoking had lost its appeal.
Another medication is called vareniciline. It works by binding the receptors in the brain and it prevents the nicotine from attaching there. Once this drug binds to the nicotine receptors, it releases much smaller amounts of dopamine; therefore, it calms craving. However, if you try to smoke, you get no pleasurable surge in dopamine release.Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.
2 AnswersMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredHere are a few things you can do to avoid the pitfalls of slipping back into the habit of cigarette smoking.
- Don't start. It's easier to stop smoking if you never adopt the habit. If you come from a family of smokers, encourage smokers in your family to stop.
- Keep good company. Learn to become comfortable in places that are smoke-free, with people who are living a healthier life. Encourage your friends who smoke to explore the possibilities of a healthier life by quitting.
- Avoid your old haunts. A change of scene goes a long way in helping you to find your inspiration to continue to be healthy. Go for a walk, go for a drive, or simply sit in a different room than the one you spent the most time smoking in.
- Talk to a friend or get involved in social media. Very often what you need is help managing some of the feelings that hide beneath the surface. You can learn from others how they have managed their impulses and emotions. Sometimes simply connecting with another human being takes the edge off the feelings that may lead you to crave a cigarette.
- Adopt a stress reduction practice. Stress is just a form of energy that goes unmanaged and creates anxiety. Once you're aware of your stress and how it impacts you in particular, you can take actions to help you manage that stress and reduce it.
- Find some substitutes for smoking. Whether it's exercise, drinking water, going for walks, or a combination of all of the above, replacing a bad habit with a good habit goes a long way when you're trying to create a healthier life.
- Become more active. Develop some new habits that are creative. Whether you decide to pick up a musical instrument, write in a journal, learn a new video game, or simply do a puzzle, any of these will give you something new to do with your hands. A few new activities can go a long way in helping you to address the absence of the old habit of holding a cigarette.
- Drink lots of fluids. There are many toxins in cigarettes and tobacco. Water and juice can help your body release these toxins; drinking more fluids will help your cells to rejuvenate.
3 AnswersMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredYou are ready to take some serious steps toward quitting smoking. You want to take to heart all of the recommendations made by your doctor. What's equally important is that you not bite off more than you can chew. Don't impose too many radical changes on yourself all at one time, because that is a recipe for failure. Create a realistic program that is sustainable. You can always build and add more to your program. The better you feel, the more you will want to do just that.
Prepare for your lifestyle change -- inwardly and outwardly. Before you start your program, it is good to take an inventory of your strengths and your supports. In other words, you want to prepare yourself inside and out so that you're able to uphold the program you create.
2 AnswersIntermountain Healthcare answeredIf you're thinking about having a baby -- or if you're pregnant right now -- you have good reasons to quit:
- Improve your chances of becoming pregnant. Studies show that smokers -- both women and men -- are less fertile than non-smokers.
- Lower your chances of having a miscarriage or serious problems with your pregnancy. When you smoke, you breathe in carbon monoxide -- the same gas that comes out of your car's tailpipe.
- Increase the chance that your baby will be born healthy. The earlier you quit, the better for your baby. Yet even later in a pregnancy, you can lower the risk to your baby by stopping smoking.
- Lower your baby's risk of dying from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Women who smoke during and after pregnancy also put their babies at a higher risk of asthma and infections.
If you managed to quit tobacco during your pregnancy, it's a great time to stay quit. And if you didn't, it's not too late to stop.
1 AnswerAmerican Diabetes Association answeredIf you smoke, there is something you can do: challenge yourself to quit smoking. Here are some steps to help you do it:
- Step one: Realize the benefits of quitting. Quitting helps your heart and lungs -- and it lowers the risk of hurting your blood vessels, eyes, nerves, and other organs. And quitting smoking can leave you with fewer wrinkles on your face; better-smelling hair, breath, and clothes; and less exposure for your family to secondhand smoke.
- Step Two: Prepare to quit. Quitting is hard work, so approach it like any major project. Before you quit:
Think of your reasons for quitting, and write them down. Put the list where you'll see it every day.
Throw away your cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays.
Ask others for their help and understanding. Ask a friend who smokes to consider quitting with you.
- Step Three: Choose a quitting strategy:
Taper off. Quit smoking gradually by cutting back over several weeks.
Use a nicotine patch, gum, inhaler, or spray. Or ask your doctor for a prescription medicine.
Ask your doctor about counseling, acupuncture, or hypnosis.
You can use one of these steps or a combination of them. When you do, you'll feel healthier right away, and you'll be healthier for the rest of your life.
1 AnswerSCAI answered
If you want help with quitting smoking but are not easily able to get to an office for in-person or group counseling, telephone or online counseling may fit your needs. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you seek counseling in person, or via telephone or computer-based programs; all seem to be more helpful than trying to quit smoking on your own. Repeated visits, calls, or chats with a trained counselor (usually a nurse or a therapist) increase long-term smoking cessation rates.
Telephone counseling that provides calls to the smoker initiated by the counselor according to a pre-arranged schedule is the most effective type of telephone counseling. Any smoker in the United States can call 1-800-QUITNOW for free proactive telephone counseling.
Online counseling is another way you can seek quitting help within the privacy and comfort of your own home. The American Lung Association offers a free smoking cessation program.