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If you've tried quitting before, you may have felt irritable when you didn't have a cigarette. Why has quitting smoking always been so hard? The answer has a lot to do with nicotine.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
The nicotine in cigarettes leads to actual physical dependence, which can cause unpleasant symptoms when a person tries to quit. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) provides nicotine - in the form of gums, patches, sprays, inhalers or lozenges - without the other harmful chemicals in tobacco. It can help relieve some of these symptoms so that you can concentrate more on the psychological aspects of quitting.
Zyban was first made to treat depression, but was then found to be useful in helping quitting smoking, regardless of whether or not the person trying to quit is depressed. The tablets are usually taken before stopping smoking, with a stop smoking date set in the first fortnight of taking them.
Champix works on the pleasure centre of the brain to cut the satisfaction smokers get from a cigarette. This means that if people have a lapse and smoke a cigarette, they will find it less enjoyable and are more likely to continue to quit.
The prescription-only pill also provides relief from cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and doubles the odds of quitting compared with the only other oral medication available.
After three months of treatment, 44 per cent of patients using Champix had given up compared with 30 per cent taking Zyban, the current anti smoking drug.
Smoking cessation is one of the most popular medical uses of hypnosis. Hypnosis helps a person learn to deeply relax, be open to suggestions that strengthen resolve to quit, and increase negative feelings toward cigarettes. Ask your doctor if he or she can recommend a good hypnosis practitioner in your area.
One of the oldest medical systems, acupuncture is believed to work by stimulating the energy flow in the body. Acupuncture is believed to help trigger the release of endorphins (naturally-occurring pain relief substances) that allow the body to relax. By helping the body become more balanced, acupuncture can be helpful in managing physiological withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor, family member, or friend if he or she can recommend a good acupuncture practitioner in your area.
Because so much of nicotine addiction is related to the habitual behaviors (the “rituals”) involved in smoking, learning to change the automatic nature of those behaviors is often a standard approach to a smoking cessation program. Working with a therapist or counselor, you can learn new ways to cope with the underlying reasons why you've smoked in the past and break through habitual patterns.