Seven Ways to Quit Smoking
- May 21, 2021 at 1:06pm
- by John Piche
Seven Ways to Quit Smoking
What’s the best way to quit smoking? The answer isn’t as obvious as one might like to think. Over the years, there have been countless different methods invented for quitting smoking, and most have enjoyed limited success. Whether smokers are trying the latest fad or simply trying to tough it out, they rarely rise above the average chance of quitting for good. Here are some of the more common methods you’ll see on the market today.
Quitting Cold Turkey
Quitting cold turkey is one of the most common ways that people try to quit smoking. It simply means stopping altogether, without any dedicated support means or alternative nicotine sources. In an ideal world, this would be the best way to quit smoking. There’s no time commitment, nothing to buy, and it cuts out nicotine completely. Unfortunately, the hard truth of the matter is that it doesn’t work very well. Nicotine addiction is very powerful, and most people are unable to stave off the cravings for long. When your body stops getting the endorphin rush of nicotine, there are numerous side effects of the withdrawal. Intensifying cravings for nicotine are the most obvious, but there are more subtle effects. Irritability, restlessness, trouble sleeping or concentrating, these are all common problems people face. They also commonly exhibit increased appetite, leading to the typical weight gain after quitting. The big problem here is that a relapse is almost certain, with only around five percent of people having any success. Most people go through all those negative symptoms for nothing.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Some people employ nicotine gum or patches to ease off of their nicotine addiction. This helps lessen the intense withdrawal symptoms because some nicotine is still being brought into the body. The primary benefit is that gum and patches contain only nicotine as a harmful ingredient, removing the other hazardous chemicals found in tobacco. Chewing gum, in particular, also gives the former smoker a physical activity, as many trying to quit succumb to simple boredom. This method is generally recommended for those with severe nicotine dependence, not occasional smokers. These people will exhibit more severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Smokers that smoke more than a pack a day, smoke immediately upon waking, or wake up through the night to smoke are likely in this category. Nicotine replacements are helpful for dealing with physical dependence but often fail to address the more subtle psychological aspects of nicotine addiction. In the end, ending use of the nicotine itself will still have to be dealt with.
Bupropion and Varenicline are the only two drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of nicotine addiction. The two drugs are available under a variety of different brand names. While varenicline sees use only as an aide to quitting smoking, bupropion is also an antidepressant for the treatment of seasonal and regular depression. Like other drugs, the two carry a number of potential side effects. Nausea and stomach pains can occur with either, and Bupropion can also cause seizures in rare cases. There is also the issue of interactions with other drugs. Both drugs can negatively interact with common medications like insulin, blood thinners, and asthma medication, making them unsuitable for people who take those medications.
Addiction counselors help patients quit many serious addictions, from gambling to substance abuse. These same techniques are often employed to help people quit smoking. Many people have issues beyond physical dependency for smoking, and counseling can help them identify and mitigate or eliminate those issues. Patterns in their lives, their circle of friends, or even unresolved issues from their past could contribute to their current addiction. The counselors also serve as encouragement and support for those trying to quit smoking. Speaking with an addiction counselor can help smokers develop a plan to quit smoking. The counselor can also help prepare the smoker for the effects of withdrawal, the anxiety and irritability, and help direct smokers to further treatment options, like drugs or therapy. One of the primary obstacles when it comes to counseling is simply the expense, as sessions can be a running cost.
A relatively new development in the medical world, research shows that vaping isn’t quite as harmful as smoking, but it certainly isn’t good. Much like nicotine gum, vaping does not contain tobacco. However, it often contains nicotine, which is still addictive and harmful, and other chemicals depending on the substance being vaped. Some attempt to use vaping as an intermediate step in cutting out nicotine altogether, but many people simply wind up with a new habit. At this time, there is preliminary evidence to suggest that vaping can help people quit smoking. There have been incidents of lung injuries associated with vaping, largely due to modified or black-market devices and vaping liquids. Many of these illicit products are used for delivering THC rather than nicotine. Vaping products purchased from a reputable business shouldn’t have these problems, although they still have all of the health concerns related to consuming nicotine.
The concept behind hypnosis for smoking cessation is quite simple. Hypnosis requires calming a person into a hypnotic state, where they will be more open to suggestions. The idea is that the hypnotist then suggests that they do not want to smoke, and that idea then becomes firmly lodged in their subconscious. Then, they simply won’t want to smoke any more. Unfortunately, the results for this experience tend to be sporadic. There is little evidence at this point to show that anyone undergoing hypnosis to stop smoking has more success than someone quitting cold turkey.
Low-Level Laser Therapy
Low-level laser therapy for smoking has been found to be an effective method to help smokers quit, with a clear and easy-to-understand mechanism. Smoking is addictive because nicotine consumption causes a rush of endorphins. Eventually, these constant rushes break down the natural endorphin regulation patterns of the body. Laser quit-smoking therapy stimulates your body to begin this natural endorphin release again. This addresses the issue at the cause, using the body’s own chemistry to mitigate chemical dependence. Smoking laser treatment has shown promising results as an effective treatment for nicotine addiction. Studies show good long-term effectiveness with laser smoking cessation therapy compared to other methods. The laser stop smoking therapy relieves the most intense of the physical withdrawal symptoms by resetting the natural balance of endorphins. Omega Laser’s Smoking Cessation Therapy Low-level laser therapy is a simple and quick procedure that patients can undergo in just half an hour. Instead of going in for multiple sessions of other therapies, Omega Laser therapy for smoking provides lasting results with just one visit for most cases. Laser therapy could be the key to finally quit smoking for good.