Quitting smoking can be an incredibly daunting challenge. The odds of success if you go at it alone -- that is, if you don't take medication or join a smoking-cessation program -- are very low. Only about one person in 20 who quits smoking manages to last a year or longer without picking up a butt or cigar again.
Maybe you're one of the lucky ones. However, studies show that medications such as bupropion and varenicline, as well as nicotine-replacement therapy, dramatically increase your odds of succeeding when you try to quit smoking. Medications are especially effective when combined with behavioral treatments from a mental health professional. Your doctor can explain how these drugs work and whether one of them is right for you.