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Can I reduce the effects of nicotine withdrawal when quitting smoking?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

You can reduce the effects of nicotine withdrawal when quitting smoking by using a combination of treatments. Studies show that a combination of medication and counseling works better than either treatment alone. Nicotine replacement products such as gum, patches and nasal sprays can help counter the physical effects of withdrawal. But nicotine cravings become less intense over time and, for most people, eventually go away.

You can deal with nicotine cravings by avoiding your triggers -- the situations that make you want to smoke. To quit smoking successfully, you need to address both physical and psychological aspects of cravings. Find other ways to unwind, such as yoga or meditation, instead of grabbing a smoke. You can also keep your mouth and hands busy by chewing gum, eating carrot sticks or keeping a cinnamon stick or flavored toothpick in your mouth. If none of these tricks work for you, your doctor can recommend prescription medications that may take the edge off your cravings.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.