You promised yourself you would quit when you graduated from college, or when you turned 30, or when you had your first child. You promised your family you would quit just as soon as you got settled at your new job, or found the right program, or retired. Every year, millions of Americans make a promise to themselves and to their families to quit cigarettes once and for all. And every year, millions of Americans succeed. You can be one of them.
The number of smoking cessation aids and quit smoking programs has grown dramatically in recent years as more and more people try to quit through tailored solutions. Working with your doctor or a medical professional, you can find the right plan that uses one or more of these solutions.
Nicotine replacement therapy
Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) deliver the nicotine your body is craving in a much safer form than cigarettes. Over time, you reduce the amount of nicotine you consume until you have hopefully curbed your cravings entirely. These therapies include:
Smoking cessation medications
Prescription drugs such as Chantix or Zyban alter chemicals in your brain in order to ease cravings and withdrawal symptoms. With some of these medications, you’re able to concurrently use nicotine replacement therapies such as a patch or gum to ease severe withdrawal symptoms. Some even let you continue smoking at the beginning of the program, to coordinate with your chosen quit date.
Some therapies address the mental and physical habits you have developed around cigarettes. These therapies include:
Some people who quit smoking use these therapies alone, while others use them in conjunction with medication or nicotine replacements.
Support therapies include counseling and quit smoking groups. Many doctors and smoking cessation specialists recommend these methods in addition to chemical or low-nicotine treatments.
If you smoke, you probably know what damage your habit is doing to your body. This damage includes:
- shorter lifespan
- dramatic increase in cancer risks
- quicker aging process
You probably know more than one lifetime smoker who lost a battle with disease related to smoking, such as:
You can probably recite the roadblocks you encounter when trying to kick the habit. They might include:
- weight gain
- withdrawal symptoms
Each person’s journey is different. Each success brings with it a new difficulty, and each milestone you reach — one week without lighting up, one month, one year — brings untold joy to you and your family. In the end, the decision to quit should be yours, but the journey does not have to be taken alone.