How To Quit Smoking

by Nancy

There are numerous negative effects of smoking especially with respect to your health. It increases the risk of contracting several types of cancer including lung, mouth, larynx, stomach, esophagus and many more. In addition, you are at a greater risk of stroke, heart attacks, damaged blood vessels, coronary heart diseases and many more. Moreover, it increases your chances of getting stomach ulcers, having lower fertility, brittle and weak bones and your skin will age at a higher rate compared to that of a non-smoker. Annually, around 480,000 deaths in the United States are attributed to tobacco and smoking-related diseases and infections.

Quit Smoking Treatments

While most people understand the dangers and effects of smoking and have the intention to stop smoking, it is easier said than done. This is why numerous agencies have come up with quit smoking treatments to facilitate the transition. The first is the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) as you wean your body off the nicotine from smoking. The NRTs reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms making it easier to stay away from cigarettes and nicotine. NRTs are available in the form of skin patches, lozenges, nasal sprays, inhalers and chewing gum. For the inhalers and nasal sprays, you require a prescription to purchase them. You should discuss the dosage with a certified practitioner before you take it up for effectiveness.

The second method is the use of non-nicotine medication to facilitate quitting. The FDA has approved two medications; Bupropion and Varenicline for this purpose. The former works by acting on the chemicals that enhance craving for nicotine as well as cause the withdrawal symptoms while the latter works on the nicotine receptors to reduce or minimize the pleasure derived from smoking. Both drugs have side effects that can range from mild to severe including hostility, mood changes, depression and other behavioral changes. They must be used under the supervision of a qualified and certified medical practitioner.

There are also alternative therapies that can be used to quit smoking. Electronic cigarettes, magnet therapy, acupuncture, cold laser therapy and even some forms of exercises and body relaxations techniques have been cited as things that can facilitate quitting. However, these may need to be combined with other methods for effectiveness.

Points to Note With These Treatments

Every individual is different and will, therefore, react differently to different treatments. It is therefore advisable to customize the treatment plan as opposed to copying what worked with another individual. If your loved one has made the resolve to stop smoking, it is advisable to consult an expert before you put them on any treatment regime. The length of time it takes to eliminate the addiction also varies from one person to another.

If the first attempt does not work, you should keep trying until you or your loved one has kicked off this harmful habit. Support from family members and good friends is an important aspect of this process. There are friends and family members- those that smoke, encourage smoking or those who are more inclined to criticize rather than support- that should be avoided during the treatment for success.

When you quit smoking, you improve the quality of your life, your health and the health of your loved ones.  It also enhances saving as the money that could have been used to buy cigarettes can be saved or put into other important uses. You, therefore, need to commit to it, get the best support system and strive every day to eliminate this harmful habit.