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Methods to Used to Stop Smoking

Updated on December 7, 2014

Smoking is one of the most difficult addictions to quit. However, the long term effects of smoking are some of the most difficult to deal with, too. Aside from the long list of cancers, you are subjecting your lungs to the possibility of bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, asthma, and much worse. Other possibilities include heart disease, aneurysms, strokes, blood circulation issues, weakening of the bones, various eye diseases, and gum disease. Smoking also has an effect on the reproductive system. It can cause a variety of birth defects and other complications at birth along with impotence in men. This list goes on regarding the health issues by continuing to smoke. Second hand smoke can be just as damaging so you aren't just putting yourself at risk but others as well.

Aside from the mere habit of it, the withdrawal symptoms can get a bit crazy for some. The nicotine receptors in your brain will make their temper tantrum quite known. Physically, you can experience stomach cramps and nausea, headaches, tingling sensations in the hands and feet, sweating, shakes, and even cold like symptoms. Mental symptoms aren't as kind either. These could include irritability, anger, depression, insomnia, unable to think clearly, and increase appetite.

There are a variety of ways that you can quit smoking. Each person is as different as the methods suggested. You need to evaluate what will be best for you and stick with it. The road isn't an easy one but once you have found what works for you, being smoke free is attainable. First, let's attack the addiction itself.

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Gradual Quitting

Although you don't normally find this suggestion at most websites and doctors' offices this method has help out hundreds of people. Continue smoking for a period of two weeks. Keep a journal with you to write down the date, time, what you were doing or had done prior to lighting up. Most people will notice they have a pattern to their smoking.

Starting in week three, begin to cut out any random smoking. This means cut out any time you just lit a cigarette for no apparent reason. The next week, cut out one or two patterns to your smoking. This means if you always have to have a cigarette while driving or perhaps right after you eat, make yourself actively resist the urge to light up. Each week pick one pattern to cut out of your smoking routine.

This method allows you to wean the nicotine receptors in your brain. It makes withdrawal symptoms less violent and more manageable. Although this isn't the healthiest way to quit smoking, it can be quite effective.

The Patch

The patch is quite effective with most people. It continues to send nicotine to the receptors in your brain without damaging your lungs any further. Most patches have gradual step.Generally speaking, there are three steps.

Step One you will use for one to six weeks with 21mg of nicotine per patch. This step is for anyone who smokes more than ten cigarettes a day. Step Two is generally used for one to two weeks with only 14mg of nicotine per patch. If you smoke ten cigarettes or less you can start off with Step Two and use it for up to six weeks. Step Three has only 7mg and is designed for those transitioning from Step Two.

One of common complaint about the patch is that it itches for the first thirty minutes after it is applied. After the first thirty minutes, the itching may subside. Another complaint is more of trial and error advice. The patch sometimes doesn't stay on as well unless applied to a shoulder blade. This may require some assistance. However, some people have no problems with sticking it to their upper arm, thigh, or buttocks.

Be aware that some people experience side effects from using the patch. Some side effects include dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, headaches, stomach upset, nausea, and diarrhea. The area where you apply the patch may become red and irritated, thus it is suggested to try a new site to place it. More severe side effects may include chest pain, breathing difficulties, irregular heartbeat, anxiousness, nervousness, and tremors. If these side effects occur, it is suggest you contact your doctor immediately.

Nicotine Gum

The nicotine gum has worked for several people. However, some people don't like the taste and sensation in their mouth. Other people don't experience that at all. So again, if the gum works for you it is worth it so that you can be free from the controlling habit of smoking.

Most people use about ten to twelve pieces of gum a day. It is label that you must have quit smoking prior to using nicotine gum. That doesn't make sense in my book, except it is suggested to be used when you feel an urge to smoke.

The nicotine gum also has its own list of side effects. Some of these effects include jaw muscle aches, mouth sores, increased saliva, indigestion, hiccups, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, lightheadedness, and dizziness. You should contact your doctor if you have a rapid heartbeat, cold sweats, or fainting.

Chantix

Chantix is prescribed by your doctor. It has a 44% success rate over a nine to twelve week treatment. Chantix blocks the nicotine receptors in your brain. For the first week you will take one white pill each morning. From week two through eight you will take a white pill in the morning and at night. Once you reach week nine, you will switch over to the blue pills.

Chantix isn't without its own list of side effects. Some of these may include gas, constipation, vomiting, and sleep issues. Some people who have taken this medication has notice a change in their behavior such as agitation, depression, and suicidal thoughts. If you begin to have these side effects it is advised to discontinue use and contact your doctor.

Hypnosis

Some people have said that hypnosis has done wonders for them. I know for a fact that hypnosis is effective for many people that battle a variety of issues. So if you are open minded and willing to try what can be an easy fix, you might want to try hypnotherapy. There may be a hypnotherapist in your area. If not there are places online that you can order CDs to help with hypnosis to quit smoking.

Other Methods

  • E-Z Quit Artificial Cigarette
  • Smokeeze Cigarette Filters
  • Smokeless Counter
  • ZeroSmoke
  • Zero Nicotine

Replace the Habit

Sometimes it isn't just the addiction that keeps you smoking. Just the habit of having a cigarette in hand can be a strong foe. Try replacing the habit with something more productive. Consider taking up a new hobby or craft project. Writing isn't a bad replacement either. Start a journal, blog, or other writing avenue to use every time you want to light up. Some people prefer to just chew gum. Others have decided to have a book handy to read every time they want to grab for the pack of smokes. Regardless, the point is every time you crave lighting up, you are replacing it with a better habit.

You can use this with the gradual quitting method as well. Use this replacement therapy to help reduce the amount of cigarettes that you smoke in a day. It is a great starting point to set you on your way to stop smoking entirely.

No matter what you do to replace the habit of smoking, make sure it is productive and not harmful. The basic idea is to replace a bad habit with a good habit.

Support System

It is good to have a support system. Let everyone know you are quitting smoking. To begin with avoid being around people who are smoking. This helps fight the urge to light up with them. Sure, you must get used to being around cigarette smoke from time to time without having the urge to light up yourself, but to start with it could be a disastrous temptation for you.

Encourage others to quit smoking with you. Making it a team effort helps ensure success for everyone. Having a small group of people that can relate to what you are going through is an amazing strength to add to your fight against the habit.

Consider keeping a diary. Use it as a way to keep a day-to-day account of your struggles and triumphs while you are trying to stop smoking. Although you can keep an offline journal, consider using a blog to help show others who are trying to quit smoking that they are not alone.

There are also websites available to assist you in your quest to be smoke free. Some these include:

No matter what method you choose, quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for yourself and others. Once you get past the withdrawals, you will be amazed at how much better you feel. Just remember to stay positive and have faith in yourself. Don't give into the urges to light up. If you happen to slip, don't get discouraged. Just pick yourself back up and continue to persevere in the fight to be smoke free.

© 2014 L Sarhan

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