11:52 19 April 2005
There are many ways to quit, but before you trash the fags make a plan...
First set a date so that you quit when its best for your you to quit: Whichever way you decide to quit you should always pick a date for quitting smoking. Spend some time and decide when the best time would be over the next couple of weeks.
What you need to consider is when will be the easiest time for you to quit. For example, you want to avoid trying to quit when you have weddings, birthdays or celebrations coming up.
For many people, the weekend is a good time to quit because it is easier to cope with withdrawal symptoms at home rather than at work or school.
Tell a friend: Telling friends and family you are quitting can be a daunting prospect, especially if they smoke.
Pick a method:
This is the most popular method of quitting, but it is also the hardest. The cold turkey method is most difficult because withdrawal symptoms hit you quicker and harder.
There is nothing gradual about cold turkey. If you're on twenty a day one day it means going from 20 to 0 in 24 hours.
Consequently, this approach can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. These can include: headaches, increased appetite, fatigue and intense cravings.
Quitting cold turkey is often difficult because most of us need to function like normal human beings for most of the day. But unfortunately cold turkey can make you feel much less than human.
Here are some tips on how to make cold turkey a tad easier:
Gradually reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke is a method many people try.
Methods include going from high-tar to low-tar cigarettes over the course of a few weeks and even trying to smoke only half the cigarette.
But even though your are reducing your nicotine intake, you are still exposing yourself to the harmful chemicals.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) increases a smoker's chances of quitting successfully by suppressing cravings and easing withdrawal symptoms.
NRT does this by releasing a low dose of nicotine into the bloodstream. By simply strapping on a patch or sticking a piece of gum in your mouth you could double the chances of successfully quitting, when compared with Cold Turkey.
In order to obtain the full benefits of NRT, a smoker must quit smoking completely before starting therapy. The main advantage of this method is the fact that it is readily available over the counter. The only downside is the fact that it's almost twice the price as a pack of fags.
Choosing the right NRT
There are new NRT methods hitting the market everyday, but below are a run down of the most common methods.
Gum: Provides active craving control, allowing a user to manage his or her dosage of nicotine and to fight cravings as they happen. It normally comes in different strengths which allows you to gradually reduce your nicotine intake. It works by releasing a controlled amount of nicotine into your body - about a third of the nicotine in a cigarette.
Patch: A patch delivers a continuous, controlled dose of nicotine into your body to help relieve cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The nicotine is released through your skin over 16 hours. It is absorbed quite slowly compared to smoking a cigarette so you should be prepared to wait a little while longer for the nicotine to get into your system.
Inhaler: An inhalator is made up of a mouthpiece and a replaceable nicotine cartridge. When you draw on the mouthpiece the cartridge releases nicotine to help relieve your cravings. And, because it is held like a cigarette, your hands are kept busy too.
Tablets: Nicotine is released and absorbed into your body through the lining of your mouth. It works by you placing the tab under your tongue and allowing it to slowly desolve. The number of tabs you use a day will depend on how many cigarettes you smoke a day.
Zyban is an anti-smoking pill that seems to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke, and it contains no nicotine.
The action of the drug is still not fully understood, but it seems to have an effect on the chemicals in the brain associated with nicotine addiction.
Zyban is also called bupropion and is sold as an antidepressant prescription drug called Wellbutrin.
Though it contains no nicotine, Zyban is believed to mimic nicotine's effects on the brain by boosting levels of the chemical messengers dopamine and norepinephrine.
When the drug is combined with use of the patch, 58 percent of research subjects successfully quit. Zyban must be prescribed by a physician.
If you are thinking of using Zyban, keep these facts in mind:
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