Smoking cessation



Techniques which can increase smokers’ chances of successfully quitting are:

  • Quitting “cold turkey”: abrupt cessation of all nicotine use as opposed to tapering or gradual stepped-down nicotine weaning. It is the quitting method used by 80 to 90% of all long-term successful quitters.
  • Smoking-cessation support and counseling is often offered over the internet, over the phone quitlines, or in person.
  • Nicotine replacement therapy when used for less than eight weeks helped with withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and urges (for example, transdermal nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, sprays, and inhalers). Nicotine replacement therapy doubles the smoker’s chances of quitting successfully.
  • The antidepressant bupropion, marketed under the brand name Zyban, helps with withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and urges. Bupropion is contraindicated in epilepsy, seizure disorder; anorexia/bulimia (eating disorders), patients use of psychosis drugs (MAO inhibitors) within 14 days, patients undergoing abrupt discontinuation of ethanol or sedatives (including benzodiazepines such as Valium)
  • Nicotinic receptor agonist varenicline
  • Recently, an injection given multiple times over the course of several months, which primes the immune system to produce antibodies which attach to nicotine and prevent it from reaching the brain, has shown promise in helping smokers quit. However, this approach is still in the experimental stages.
  • Hypnosis clinical trials studying hypnosis as a method for smoking cessation have been inconclusive.
  • Herbal preparations such as Kava and Chamomile
  • Acupuncture clinical trials have shown that acupuncture’s effect on smoking cessation is equal to that of sham/placebo acupuncture. (See Cochrane Review)
  • Attending a self-help group such as Nicotine Anonymous and electronic self-help groups such as Stomp It Out
  • Laser therapy based on acupuncture principles but without the needles.
  • Quit meters: Small computer programs that keep track of quit statistics such as amount of “quit-time”, cheap cigarettes not smoked, and money saved.
  • Self-help books.
  • Spirituality Spiritual beliefs and practices may help some smokers quit.
  • Smokeless tobacco: Snus is widely used in Sweden, and although it is much healthier than smoking, something which is reflected in the low cancer rates for Swedish men, there are still some concerns about its health impact.
  • Herbal and aromatherapy “natural” program formulations.
  • Vaporizer: heats to 410

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