How Can I Stop Smoking?
How Can I Stop Smoking?
This content has been reviewed and approved for quality and accuracy by James O'Loan (GPhC: 2084549)
How to quit smoking for good
Trying to quit smoking seems really easy to someone who’s never smoked.
It looks as easy as just putting the cigarettes down and never picking them back up again, but if it were really that simple everybody would give up in a heartbeat!
If you want to quit smoking and are looking for some helpful tips that can help you to beat the nicotine once and for all, you’ve come to the right place, as we’re looking at what you can do to make quitting easier.
This time, you’ll be quitting for good!
What are the benefits of stopping smoking?
Quitting smoking can open up a world of health benefits to you that only get better the longer you’ve quit for, which is why many people decide to quit in the first place.
For starters, you’ll notice that your sense of taste and smell will improve within just a couple of days, and within a few months your lung function will improve by up to 10%!
Not to mention you won’t smell like stale cigarettes any more and you won’t have to keep excusing yourself to go outside and smoke in all weathers, which has got to work wonders for your social life.
Oh, and all of that money you were spending on cigarettes? That’s all yours now! Spend it on something fantastic to remind yourself of all the benefits you’ll see now that you’ve quit.
What is the best way to stop smoking?
So, you know you want to quit smoking for good, but you’re not sure what the best way to go about the whole thing is.
Well let me give you some really simple advice, the best way to quit smoking is the way that works for you!
Everybody’s different so your smoke free journey will probably be different from your friend’s or colleague’s. Don’t feel bad if what works for them doesn’t work for you, you just need to try something different!
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can quit smoking so you can think about which option will be the best for you.
Can Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) help me to stop smoking?
One of the most popular ways to quit smoking is by using Nicotine Replacement Therapy or NRT.
This method helps to combat your nicotine cravings by replacing the nicotine you get from cigarettes and reducing the amount you take in little by little every day.
This helps you to beat the cravings without having to There are a few ways you can try NRT, so let’s take a look at which ones you could try.
One of the most popular ways to quit smoking is using nicotine patches. You stick these patches to your skin, usually on your arm, chest, or hip, where they’ll slowly release nicotine into your system.
This helps to keep your nicotine cravings at bay for longer periods of time, and different patches can be used depending on how much you smoke or what stage of your smoke-free journey you’re at.
For example, the Nicorette Invisipatch is available in 3 stages, which start with a higher dosage of nicotine and reduce with each step. This helps you to cut down your nicotine intake slowly, rather than going cold turkey.
Nicotine Gum, lozenges, and micro-tablets
Another popular way to quit smoking is by using nicotine gum, lozenges, or micro-tabs.
All of these methods can be popped into your mouth whenever you get a nicotine craving to help you to fight through it without needing a cigarette.
The gum and lozenges work just as you’d expect them to. Just chew a piece of nicotine gum or suck on a lozenge when you get a craving to release some nicotine into your system that can help to keep the cravings under control.
The micro-tabs are placed under your tongue, slowly releasing nicotine into your mouth as they dissolve, helping you to beat the cravings that way.
Nasal sprays, inhalators and mouth sprays
Your final NRT options are nasal sprays, inhalators and mouth sprays.
These both release a dose of nicotine into your system when you use them, and they have the added benefit of giving you something to do with your hands that doesn’t involve holding a cigarette.
If you’ve ever used a nasal spray for hay fever or as a decongestant, you’ll be familiar with the way these NRT nasal sprays work.
Simply place the nozzle into your nostril, breathe in deeply, and press down to release the nicotine spray into your system.
Mouth sprays work in a similar way, but instead of spraying into your nostril, you spray the mist into the back of your throat for a hit of nicotine that will help you through your cravings.
Finally, you have your inhalators, which will remind you of cigarettes. When an inhalator is set up, you can hold and use it like a cigarette to draw nicotine into your system.
They come with cartridges that last for a certain amount of time before they need to be replaced.
Some people prefer to use inhalators when quitting because they like having something they can hold in their hands to replace the feeling of using a cigarette.
What can my doctor do to help me stop smoking?
If you go to your doctor for help to quit smoking, they can offer you great advice and support that can help you to take the first steps on your smoke free journey.
On top of that, they can prescribe tablets that can help you to quit smoking. The two most popular types of prescription tablets that can help you to quit are Champix and Zyban.
Champix contains the active ingredient Varenicline, and you start taking it a few weeks before you stop smoking and continue after your last cigarette, normally for around 12 weeks.
It helps to reduce your cravings for cigarettes and can reduce the rush you feel when you do have a cigarette, making you less likely to crave one.
Your other option, Zyban, contains Bupropion Hydrochloride, and it helps you to make it through your nicotine cravings until you’re through with them.
Both of these tablets are only available on prescription, so if you think this is the right choice for you, you’ll need to speak to your doctor for more information.
Can E-Cigarettes help me to stop smoking?
Using e-cigarettes or vaping can help you to quit smoking, and some people find it much easier to use an e-cigarette than to quit cold turkey.
Although e-cigarettes still give you the nicotine you crave, they contain much lower levels of the harmful chemicals that you’ll find in cigarettes.
Because there’s no smoke when you use an e-cigarette, you don’t have to worry about harmful carbon monoxide or tar that get into your system when you smoke a regular cigarette.
Although long-term studies about the safety of e-cigarettes haven’t been completed yet, they’re a pretty new product after all, we’re still not sure if e-cigarettes have any long-term issues.
However, we do know that in the short term, e-cigarettes are much less harmful than regular cigarettes and can help you to quit smoking for good.
Can I quit smoking cold turkey?
You can quit smoking cold turkey, which means that you just stop smoking without any support or treatment to help you to get through the cravings, but it can be a difficult way to quit.
When the cravings hit, without proper support you can find yourself falling back into the habit of smoking just to help you to get through it.
Research has shown that those who quit with proper specialist support and medication are up to 225% more successful than those who quit cold turkey, so make sure you explore all of your options when you decide to quit.
Are there any other tips that can help me to quit smoking?
When you’re trying to quit one of the most important things is to have a plan, and that includes thinking about what you’ll go when the cravings strike.
Even if you’ve got your medication and support, quitting can still be tough if you’re not 100% sure why you’re quitting in the first place.
Make a list of reasons why you want to quit, put things on there like health benefits, the money you’ll save, and the fact that your kids won’t have to suffer through passive smoking.
When the going gets tough, look at your list and think about why you’re doing this, it’ll help to keep you motivated until the cravings have passed.
You’re on your way, taking the first steps on your smoke-free journey and we wish you all of the luck in the world!
If you’re still not sure about how to quit smoking and want some good advice, don’t forget to speak to your doctor so they can help you to make the progress you’d like to see!
You can do it and we’re all rooting for you!