Stop Smoking - Products, Pills, Patches and Therapies

Drug Abuse and Addiction

Nobody ever said stopping smoking would be easy. There are ways and means but it can be confusing to know which is the best method for you.

There are many bewildering methods and products, which claim they can stop you smoking. These range from prescriptive drugs to the over the counter remedies and natural therapy.

The majority claim to have very good success rates, with very little effort on the smoker's behalf! But they can't make a smoker want to stop or quit for them. Some can however make the nicotine withdrawal easier and lessen the urge to smoke.

Non nicotine treatment (Zyban)

Zyban is a relatively new drug and available on prescription. It can have serious side effects such as seizures and chest pains, but supporters claim the risks of smoking far outweigh these.

Zyban works on the brain by reducing the craving and withdrawal symptoms. Trials show that it can double the chance of successfully quitting. It comes in tablet form and is a two-month course.

People with epilepsy or eating disorders should not take it. In the UK 46 people have died from adverse reactions.

Stop Smoking: Nicotine replacement therapy

This can take the form of chewing gum, lozenges, inhalers and patches. They replace some of the nicotine you would get from a cigarette with a much lower dose slowly released into the system. Research shows that, used correctly, NRT doubles a smoker's chance of quitting.

Chewing gum/lozenges: To get maximum benefit chew for 30 minutes to allow the nicotine to be absorbed through the lining of the mouth. It comes in two strengths, low and full, and a variety of flavours

Patches: look like sticking plasters and are usually applied on the upper arm. They come in three strengths and last up to 24 hours as the nicotine is slowly absorbed. Best suited to moderate smokers (10-20 a day)

Nasal sprays: deliver a fine spray of nicotine, which is immediately absorbed through the lining of the nose. It can be used up to 32 times in 24 hours and is best suited to heavy smokers, because of the relatively fast effect

Dummy/herbal cigarettes

Provide the feeling of smoking without the nicotine. No proven benefit.

Willpower

According to many smokers it is easier to stop altogether than cut down. Uncomplicated method of quitting and you have to be determined

Support clinics/helplines

In Britain there are a growing number of NHS specialist clinics and support groups which are available in the community. They can make you feel less alone and provide mutual support from people who understand what you are going through.

Many countries operate free telephone helplines with trained counsellors providing one to one advice and support.

Stop Smoking: Alternative Therapies

Hypnotherapy. Creates a state of deep relaxation allowing they mind to open to suggestion such as giving up smoking. Hypnotherapists believe that regular sessions can increase a person's willpower to stop. However there is no clinical evidence that it works and it can be expensive.

Acupuncture: Fine needles are inserted into the body's energy channels to restore natural balance. Acupuncturists believe that if the body is balanced then it may help a person deal with the effects of nicotine withdrawal. Lots of anecdotal evidence to show it works but no clinical trials.

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