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Various methods are available to help you quit smoking. The choice is up to you. No method works best for everyone. Smoking cessation methods include:
  • Cold Turkey Method
  • Nicotine Delivery Substitution--Nicotine Patch or Nicotine Gum
  • Cigarette Brand Switching
  • Cutting Down
  • Postponing Smoking Time
  • Miscellaneous Methods

METHOD PRO'S AND CON'S

Cold Turkey Method

This method is the most common way to quit smoking. About 1 in 10 people using this method by itself will remain smoke-free after 1 year. Not very good odds. However, you can greatly improve your chance of success by combining COLD TURKEY with another method such as using the nicotine patch, hypnosis or working with a smoking-cessation counselor or group. By adding another method to COLD TURKEY, three out of 4 will remain smoke-free after 6-8 weeks, and about 1 in 4 will remain smoke- free after 1 year.

Pro's:

COLD TURKEY works best because the smoker makes an immediate commitment to quit smoking. This helps the person avoid putting off the smoking cessation until a "better" day. There is no ideal "better" day.

Con's:

Many smokers have not examined their smoking situation very well. Immediate COLD TURKEY without a well-thought out plan of attack often does not succeed.

Nicotine Delivery Substitution

Pro's:

Studies have shown that, in combination with counseling, this method can double your chances of staying permanently off cigarettes. Most people want a quick, easy, pain-free way to quit smoking. This would appear to be the most convenient way for many. This method helps reduce the physical discomfort of withdrawing from nicotine. If you have had strong withdrawal symptoms in past quitting attempts, you may want to consider this method.

     I, myself have been using the Nicoderm CQ patch system.  I'm currently using the strongest patch (21mg) and I'll continue to use this for 6 weeks.  Then I'll switch to a lower dose patch.  I'm following the instructions for heavy smokers.  So far, this seems to be working ok.  Although I'm having some pretty wild dreams, the withdrawals aren't as bad as they were with Zyban / Willberton or the Cold Turkey Method.

Con's:

(1) Cost: The cost will include physician visits and the prescription which costs about the same as cigarettes over the treatment period.

(2) Addiction: Some people remain as addicted to the nicotine in the patch or gum as the cigarette and cannot wean themselves of the drug.

(3) Side-effects: These effects may include elevated blood pressure, dizziness, insomnia, bizarre dreams, skin irritation, heart palpitations and anxiety.

Zyban or Wellbutrin (helps with withdrawls)

Zyban is an anti-smoking pill that seems to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke, and it contains no nicotine. The action of the drug is still not fully understood, but it seems to have an effect on the chemicals in the brain associated with nicotine addiction (which include beta-endorphins, acetylcholine, dopamine and norepinephrine).

Zyban is also called bupropion and is sold as an antidepressant prescription drug called Wellbutrin.

Some facts about Zyban:

     

  • Some common side effects from using Zyban include dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, shakiness and skin rash.

     

  • About one out of every 1,000 people taking bupropion may have a seizure, which may involve convulsions and loss of consciousness. People should not use Zyban if they have a pre-existing seizure condition such as epilepsy, or an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, or if they are taking other medications containing Zyban's active ingredient, bupropion hydrochloride. These circumstances can increase the chance of a seizure.

     

  • Zyban is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Zyban can be used with a nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), but the supervising physician should monitor the Zyban user closely for a possible rise in blood pressure when it is used with an NRT.
  • It is not physically dangerous to smoke while using Zyban, but continuing to smoke after you decide to stop significantly reduces the chance of successfully quitting.

Visit the Zyban website for more information by

Cigarette Brand Switching

Pro's:

This method works best over a period of several weeks if you are a heavy smoker using a high-nicotine brand. If you already smoke a low-nicotine brand you may want to use the CUTTING DOWN method.

Con's:

(1) Many so-called low-nicotine brands are just as high in nicotine as the full-strength brand. The labeling is influenced by lab tests that do not measure how smokers really inhale.

(2) Deep inhaling can result in absorbing just as much nicotine from the "low-nicotine" brands.

If smoking control is a problem for you, then you may want to use another method such as COLD TURKEY.

Cutting Down

Pro's:

CUTTING DOWN can help build confidence and gain insight into your smoking habits.

Con's:

(1) Some people find it difficult to taper off because they feel tempted to smoke one more cigarette than they should with this method.

(2) Some people inhale stronger and hold the smoke in longer to take in a greater amount of nicotine per puff when trying to CUT DOWN.

If temptation is a problem for you using this method, then COLD TURKEY is probably a better way to quit smoking for you.

Postponing Smoking Time

Pro's:

Like CUTTING DOWN this method can help you build confidence and gain insight into your smoking habits. This method could work along with other approaches such as drinking lots of water and using your planned activities that you want to do instead of smoking.

Con's:

You will need lots of willpower. If willpower is not your strong suit, then you would be wise to choose another way.

Miscellaneous Methods

A variety of methods are available and often marketed for their effectiveness and convenience. These may include hypnosis, acupuncture, herbs and diet. Many of these methods have an unproven track record for smoking-cessation success. Some may be more effective than others.

Regardless, whichever method you choose will depend on:

(1) how addicted you are,

(2) what your smoking patterns are,

(3) how stressed out you are, and

(4) how good you are at managing stress without cigarettes.

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