The aim of the guide to quit smoking is to inform those that have the intention to quit on the existing options out there that will help you achieve your goal and offer a plan for that major first step. The beginning of the end.
Half of the people who continue to smoke their whole life will die from developing a disease related to smoking tobacco. This is a very well researched fact. Everyone currently smoking will face health issues during their lives caused by this vice.
Motivation is key
I like to say that there is no such thing as a “cure” for smoking. There is only abstinence. A smoker will be addicted to smoking their whole lives, and while the need to smoke will decrease in time to be of little to no importance. The temptation will always remain. It is natural. Your mind and body have been associating smoking with good events, it has become a relaxing technique. It takes great mental strength and motivation to embark on a journey to change your mindset, your habits and your desires.
Motivation is the cornerstone for the guide to quit smoking. There are certain programs out there that look to help keep you motivated during your journey. One such technique is by implementing incentives for smoking cessation. Research has shown that incentives appear to boost cessation rates while they are in place.
Two studies managed to achieve a constant success rate even after the reward schedule ended. They offered cash payments for abstinence. Other studies looked into deposit-refund schemes for creative an incentive to keep participants smoke-free. The techniques proved highly efficient for those that enrolled, but the number of willing participants was quite low.
Nonetheless, you can mimic such methods on you own or with the assistance of your family or close ones. Simply decide to set aside each day, into a secure bank deposit or safe place your choice, the cash you would’ve normally spent on cigarettes and have your family or significant other match it. After a certain period of abstinence from smoking, let’s say 6 months, reward yourself for coming this far by spending the money.
The guide to Quit Smoking: Aid therapies
Hypnosis methods vary greatly according to patients and the therapists that practice them. Because of this, it has not shown any consistent result as a treatment aid for those that wish to quit smoking. A study that aimed to compare the efficacy of hypnotherapy, hypnotherapy with nicotine replacement therapy and conventional nicotine replacement therapy in patients that wishes to quit smoking. They reported that hypnotherapy is more effective at improving abstinence rates than traditional nicotine replacement therapies.
In the guide to quit smoking we do not leave any option out. Though with this one it’s a hit or miss really. Other studies have shown no greater success rates than traditional therapies. Still, a significant number of people have reported that it has been a great help for them in their journey quit. If you think this is something that might work for you, ask your doctor to refer you to a good, and most importantly, a licensed therapist who does hypnotherapy.
The effectiveness of acupuncture for smoking cessation was analyzed in a study by using Chinese national databases, PubMed, Springer and ScienceDirect databases. 20 years worth of data that involved 3084 cases of patients being treated with acupuncture for smoking cessation. The results were impressive. It showed that acupuncture significantly helped the patients decrease the number of cigarettes they smoked per day and was successful in increasing short-term abstinence from smoking. However, this study could not analyze its effect on long-time abstinence, and thus requires more research.
As with all alternative medicine, the results are never clear, they depend on the technique, and on the individual. Yet a large number of people have reported that it helped them manage their smoking need. If this is something that sounds appealing to you, your doctor may be able to help you find an acupuncture specialist to assist you with appropriate treatment. Those that live in the United States can contact the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture for more information. You can visit their website for more information here.
Magnet therapy and Low-Level laser therapy
Magnet therapy to quit smoking involves 2 small magnets that are placed at a certain location, opposite each other on either side of the ear. Magnetism holds them in place.
Low-level or cold laser therapy is similar to acupuncture. Instead of using needles for acupuncture, cold lasers are utilized. It is said that this treatment will relax your body and help your brain release endorphins, thus simulating the effects of nicotine.
Although the literature suggests possible short-term effects on smoking cessation, there is no consistent evidence that these therapies are useful for helping people that wish to quit smoking. Nonetheless, it is good to be aware of their existence, and if you are interested in employing their help, talk to your medical adviser about them first. The guide to quit smoking includes any therapy you consider that might benefit you.
Keeping your mind and body busy is a great part of the guide to quit smoking. Medium to high intensity, short workouts are a great tool that can aid you on your road to becoming smoke-free. Enlisting in a gym, or just starting a new workout routine is an easy way to introduce your body to new, healthy habits. In addition, the endorphins your body releases during exercise will cull your nicotine cravings and leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.
A number of 18 studies looked to review the effectiveness of exercising in reducing craving for tobacco. In 17 of these trials, participants that were engaged in physical activity showed significant less nicotine cravings than the ones in the control group that did not introduce work-outs in their schedule.
Medication and Nicotine Replacement Therapy
There are a large number of nicotine replacement therapies,over the counter and prescription medication that have been proven to successfully aid you in your journey to quit smoking. Ask your doctor before deciding to use any nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medication. He will help you choose the one that is best for you. As part of the guide to quit smoking, this is a list of the products that exist today.
Are currently recommended to be used for 8 weeks. Studies have not showed to improve quit rates if used for extended therapies. Possible side effects: Local irritation, sever itching of the skin, rashes
Nicotine Polacrilex Gums
Current recommendation of intake is max 20 pieces per day, decrease 1 piece every 4–7 days. Possible side effects: sore throat, stomatitis.
Nicotine Inhalers and nasal sprays
Possible side effects: Local and Nasal irritation
Despite e-cigarettes not being approved by the FDA as an official smoking cessation aid, numerous studies have shown its effectiveness in helping people from around the world to quit smoking.
One such research has shown e-cigs to have immediate and highly impressive effects on reducing cigarette craving and withdrawal symptoms. Remarkably, 8 months into the trial 50% of the participants showed complete abstinence from cigarettes, while another 25% considerably reduced their daily cigarette consumption.
It is also used as an antidepressant. It slightly inhibits norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. It has been used with great success as an aid to patients who wish to quit smoking Possible side effects include: Insomnia, dry mouth, dizziness, rhinitis. Possible side effects: nausea, insomnia
It has shown to be an effective aid to smoking cessation. It has not been approved by the FDA as an official cessation aid. Possible side-effects include : Insomnia, dizziness, anorexia, sexual dysfunction, confusion.
Cytisine has been isolated from the Cytisus laburnum plant, and has been used for a long time to help patients quit smoking in eastern European countries. Recent studies have demonstrated that cytosine is more efficient in curbing nicotine cravings than traditional nicotine replacement therapy products. Possible side effects include: nausea, vomiting, sleep disturbances
Nortriptyline is an antidepressant, yet studies have found that smokers who were treated with nortriptyline were twice as likely to remain abstinent from smoking after 6 months, than smokers those who received a placebo. It has not been approved by the FDA as a smoking cessation aid.
The Guide to Quit Smoking : The Plan
Picking a Quit Day
The first and most important step in the guide to quit smoking is picking a Quit Day. Once you decided that enough is enough, and that it is time for you to quit once and for all, pick a day to quit on within the next month.
Give yourself enough time to mentally prepare for the upcoming battle, but not too much time. Having too much time to think things over can result in you changing your mind for various reasons that your scared mind can invent. Once you have a date in mind, circle it in your calendar, make reminder on your phone; anything you need. It will become a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. The day you quit smoking!
Decide if you’re going to use any nicotine replacements, medication, group therapy, or alternative therapies. Studies have shown that a combination of two treatment aids is best for achieving long-term abstinence.
Prepare for your Quit Day
There is no right or wrong way to quit. A great number of smokers prefer to quit cold turkey, no medication, no nicotine replacement, no nothing. They smoke until Quit Day and that’s that. Another way to do it is in the week prior to you Quit Day, slowly reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke a day. This method will help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Whichever is easiest for you is best. Make the guide to quit smoking your own.
- If you’re planning to use a prescription drug, talk to your doctor in advance in order to procure your medicine in time for your Quit Day. Some medications like Bupropion or Varenicline require you to start taking them a whole week or even two weeks before you stop smoking.
- Also if you intend to use any of the alternative treatments to aid you quit smoking (acupuncture, hypnotherapy etc), make sure you talk to your specialist in advance about when your sessions need to start in report to your quit day. You might need to have your first therapy sessions before your quit day.
- If you intend on using nicotine replacements, such as e-cigarettes, gums, patches or spray. Make sure you have everything ready to go by your quit day.
- Tell your family and friends that you are intending to stop smoking and the date of your Quit Date. It is important for your close ones to be supportive and aware of your choice.
- Get rid of all the ashtrays, cigarettes and tobacco in your house, car, and special hiding place. Yes everything. You must not be tempted by anything.
- Stock up on things to munch on such as carrot sticks, gum, hard candy, toothpicks etc. Anything that can help you with your oral fixation.
Your Quit Day
On your Quit Day the first and most important thing is: Do not smoke ! Not even one puff.
It is the single most important part of the guide to quit smoking. Hard times will follow. Letting go of smoking is not easy by any means. You have to stay determined and realize this is the best thing you can do for your body and mind.
It is important to keep active, well hydrated, avoid people that smoke and stressing situations if possible and develop new, healthy habits. Stick with your determination, and the best incentives you can have are results. You will start feeling better than you have in ages.
I gave up smoking on 13th of August, 2015, by using e-cigarettes as a nicotine replacement. I informed myself on the risks and benefits, got everything ready for my Quit Day, and never looked back since. I’ve started with 12mg nicotine e-liquids and am now down to 3mg. I personally intend to reduce the concentration to 0mg nicotine and then finally kick this habit to the curve.
Whatever path you choose on this journey, it does not matter as long as it is what you have chosen for yourself. As long as you desire to quit, you shall. The guide to quit smoking is here for you to inform yourself of your options.
If you would like more details on the subject or if you have any questions, objections, hateful comments or highly deserved praises to offer please do not hesitate to leave a comment.
Also if you have a product that you would like me to review and research, I gladly welcome the challenge.