Are you sick and tired of smoking tobacco, but finding it difficult to give up?
Everyone has their reasons for wanting to quit smoking, but if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that quitting smoking isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve smoked for a number of years.
Since you’re reading this, the chances are that you’re searching for the best way to quit smoking for either yourself or a close loved one.
Fortunately, there are more smoking cessations than ever before that have helped millions of people across the globe give up.
To help improve your chances it will help you to be aware of all the different cessation methods available, understand how they all work as well as their pros and cons.
And this is exactly what we’re going to go over in this article…
ARE YOU SURE THAT YOU ARE READY TO KNOCK SMOKING ON THE HEAD?
If you’re finding it difficult to quit, you’re not alone, but it helps to plan out how you intend to do so and prepare yourself mentally.
You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’.
In many instances, this is absolutely right.
According to the CDC, a number of adults stopped smoking cigarettes for at least one day in an attempt to give up for good.
This study also shows that 3 in 5 smokers intend to quit in the next 6 months, but only 2% of all quit attempts are successful.
That’s right – only a 2% success rate!
Mark Twain once said: “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.”
If you’re anything like me, you can relate to what he’s saying.
The thing is, the cravings don’t get any less intense, you just find ways of dealing with them.
We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve been nagged to stop smoking, whether that is by a concerned spouse, a parent or a caring friend that wants you to be around for years to come.
I’m almost certain that the natural response to being told ‘you need to give that up’ is ‘yeah, I know I’m going to try soon’ or something along those lines.
We’ve all done it, and the chances are we have said that with the best intentions.
Some people have a much more personal reason to give up.
You may have been told by a doctor that they have to quit for health reasons, and some of you may want to give up because, like me, you have recently become a parent and would love to see your children grow up.
Whatever your reasons may be, it must be said that there is absolutely no point in attempting any of these methods if deep down in your mind you don’t actually want to quit.
NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THERAPY AND ‘ALTERNATIVE METHODS’
In the next section, we’re going to take a close look at 11 of the most successful methods used to give up smoking, which will be divided into two parts – nicotine replacement therapies (NRT’s) and ‘alternative methods’.
Nicotine replacement therapies are used by 72% of people that attempt to give up smoking, and it has been proven that using more than one method simultaneously gives you the best chance to kick your habit.
Interestingly enough, 67% of people resort to self-help methods to give up while prescription medications are used by 37%, and 17% of people attempting to give up smoking seek counselling.
An article commissioned by the Tobacco Addiction Group which reviewed 150 different tests on nicotine replacement therapies showed that the chances of quitting increased by 50%-70% when an NRT was used.
Whether you choose to try a nicotine replacement therapy, counselling from an expert, go cold turkey or anything else, we can’t hide behind the fact that each method will require the utmost will power, determination, and self-discipline.
So with that in mind, let’s dive in and check out the most successful methods used today to quit smoking…
1. NICOTINE GUM
There’s a really good chance that you’re already familiar with and have tried chewing gum at some point in your life.
Nicotine gum is simply a type of chewing gum that delivers nicotine to your body.
The gum is chewed for a short period and then held on the inside of your mouth between your cheek and teeth.
The gum works by releasing nicotine, the addictive chemical that is craved, which is then absorbed in your body. This then caters to your craving.
Does nicotine gum work effectively?
According to this study involving two controlled groups and a placebo, it was proven to have an effect when used, but there were still a lot of relapses.
There are also a lot of things that go against nicotine gum such as the taste and lack of sensation it has when compared to smoking.
·Quick, easy relief from cigarette cravings
·Different flavor options
·A range of strengths available
·You can become addicted to the gum
·It isn’t the same sensation as smoking a cigarette
·It doesn’t taste great
2. NICOTINE PATCHES
A nicotine patch is another commonly used NRT.
The patch is placed on the skin like a plaster, and this releases nicotine into your body through your skin.
They tend to come in a 16 hour option, or a 24 hour option.
It’s believed that they are effective in helping you stop smoking until you are in a situation where you would normally smoke, such as at the pub, or around your friends, family or work colleagues that still smoke.
A study at Hayes et al. using three controlled groups, a placebo, a blind group and an open active group shows that at 6 weeks 10.8% of the group who know they are using a patch have ceased their smoking habit completely.
This number is increased drastically after 6 months.
It’s worth knowing that nicotine patches are known to have side effects such as irritability, and if left on overnight they may cause abnormal or vivid dreams.
·Discreet way of getting your nicotine fix
·Different strengths to suit you
·Helps stop the cravings from forming
·Doesn’t work when you are in a situation where you would normally smoke
·Patches can cause a rash on your skin
·Can cause sleeping problems or vivid dreams
3. NICOTINE INHALER
A nicotine inhaler is a plastic cartridge with a mouthpiece that you use to inhale nicotine, similar to how you’d puff on a cigarette.
As you inhale, the nicotine turns into vapor, similar to an e-cigarette device and is absorbed through the mouth and throat.
Each cartridge that you buy has around 400 puffs worth and should last for about 20 minutes of smoking.
This is equivalent to around 4 cigarettes.
As many people will tell you, sometimes it’s more than just the nicotine you are addicted to, it’s the habit and action of smoking that gets you.
This device is designed to give you the same movement as when you are smoking a cigarette, which will make the inhaler more attractive for many of you than the gum and patches.
A study from the British Medical Journal concluded that using a nicotine inhaler may improve public health as much as any other NRT, and they also state that this type of nicotine consumption is far safer than using tobacco.
·It’s the same action as smoking a cigarette
·Different strength cartridges available
·You’re in control of your nicotine intake
·Could be seen as prolonging the habit of smoking
·Could make you think you may as well be smoking a cigarette
·Can’t be used overly discreetly, it’s pretty obvious you’re puffing on one of these
4. NICOTINE TABLETS
Soluble nicotine tablets, or microtabs as they are also known, are similar to nicotine gums inasmuch as they are fast acting to relieve the cravings for a cigarette.
They are far more discreet and some argue that they’re even simpler to use.
To use the tablet, you simply place one under your tongue, and leave to dissolve for about 20 minutes.
The beauty of these is that you are in control of your nicotine intake.
Each tablet is 2mg of nicotine, so if you need more, you take more.
If you weren’t an overly heavy smoker in the first place, you won’t need to take as many.
It’s as simple as that.
It is advised that no more than 30 are taken in a 24 hour period.
It’s also advised that you pair the nicotine tablets with a nicotine patch to greatly increase the likelihood of you being able to stop smoking, but we’d highly recommend that you discuss this with a medical professional first.
·Discreet and easy to use
·You are in control of your intake
·Fast acting relief against the cravings for a cigarette
·Can cause heartburn, mouth ulcers, and flatulence
·Can leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth
·Has been known to give a hotrning sensation
·Easy to use
·Quick acting relief against cigarette cravings
·Comes in a range of strengths to suit
·Can cause mild dizziness, headaches, and sore throat
·in extreme cases, can cause heart palpitations
·Must be used semi-regularly to control cravings
·Easy to use
·Not exactly discreet
·Can leave a nasty aftertaste
·May be abused as a method
·Some devices do a great job of giving you the sensation of smoking a real cigarette
·Infinite amounts of customisation, from mods, to tanks to e-liquids
·More powerful than a nicotine inhaler
·Can reduce your nicotine intake by reducing the nicotine content in the e-liquid
·Some of the more powerful devices do not mimic the experience as smoking a cigarette
·Can be a costly hobby
·While vaping has been proven to be 95% safer than smoking, there is still limited knowledge on long-term health effects of vaping
·Instantly save money
·Higher chances of staying a permanent non-smoker
·No nasty side effects from medicinal ways of giving up smoking
·Not the easiest way to give up
·You have nothing to ease the cravings when they come
·You may experience terrible mood swings
·You will find it easier to control the cravings when they come along
·You will not suffer from mood swings as much as giving up completely
·This is an easier method than giving up completely
·You will still be smoking
·You won’t notice the money saving for a while
·It will take longer to give up
Cognitive behavior therapy, otherwise known as behavioral therapy uses the power of your mind to help you give up smoking.
·Can alter your thinking making it easier to control cravings
·Proven to be helpful if you relapse
·Can be time consuming
·Could take a while to alter the way your brain works
·Proven to be an effective long-term solution
·You’re getting professional help and support
·Could be costly
·Wrongly, counselling has a stigma attached to it
Now that I’ve outlined the best ways to quit smoking, the rest is totally down to you.