How to quit smoking for good with the advice of experts

How to Quit Smoking for Good

PNB Metlife 20-05-2016 02:26:08 PM
How to Quit Smoking for Good

Now is the time to quit smoking. Whether you have tried before or this is your first attempt, these expert-backed tips will help you to kick the habit once and for all.

Want some good news about quitting your smoking habit? The more treatments you try, the better your chances are, says Daniel F. Seidman, Ph.D., director of Smoking Cessation Services at Columbia University Medical Center and author of Smoke-Free in 30 Days. Smoking is both a physical and emotional addiction, which means you need to treat both aspects. So how do you make it stick? Read More

Focus on the benefits

To be successful, smokers need to get over the idea that quitting is impossible. “More people have quit smoking than currently smoke,” says Seidman. “People have to believe their lives are going to be better without it—not just physically, but that good things will come out of not having a cigarette in their lives anymore.” The upside is big: more energy and confidence, increased savings and a healthy living. The effects of smoking, including higher chances of cancer and bad health, should be motivating factors too.

Double up on treatments

Many struggle with quitting on their own. Only 4 to 7 per cent of people who attempt to stop smoking without medication or other assistance succeed. So what increases your chances for success? Doubling up on therapy treatments. The CDC has found that a combination of medication and counselling is more effective for smoking cessation than either one alone.

Nicotine replacement products (e.g., gums, inhalers, nasal sprays, lozenges or patches) are also most effective when two types are used at the same time – such as the patch and gum or lozenges and an inhaler, says Seidman. This addresses both nicotine withdrawal and the behaviour of having something tactile to replace a cigarette.

Calm your emotions to quit smoking

Complaining that they “don’t feel right” isn’t uncommon for smokers trying to quit. Some smokers who experience emotional upset while quitting use the antidepressant bupropion SR (Zyban). It puts an emotional floor under their mood and can help manage the feelings of sadness, irritability, and loss of concentration that can usually accompany smoking cessation.

There is also a drug that can be used only as a last resort - varenicline tartrate (Chantix). Research has linked it to serious side effects, including blacking out and violence. Despite the risks and limited benefits, it is still on the market - but with a warning label.

Commitment is the asset you can have on the way to a healthy living. One only needs to consider the effects of smoking to get motivated. There are many programs, support groups, and treatment options available. The key is to find the path that works for you.

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