With the Great American Smokeout a week away, it may be time to start thinking about quitting smoking, and finding the right method to help you do so. The good news is, you have plenty of options when it comes to quitting, and the health benefits of being a quitter will be the same no matter which method you choose:
- Going cold turkey: This method involves picking a quit date on which you will stop using tobacco products completely. If you find the thought of giving up nicotine all at once a little overwhelming, then you may prefer to choose another method.
- Cutting down gradually: If you prefer not to stop the use of all tobacco products on your quit date, you can cut down gradually by smoking fewer cigarettes each day or by spacing out the time in between your cigarettes. Some people may find this method difficult to hold to during stressful situations that compel them to crave tobacco.
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT): Nicotine substitutes can double the success rate of trying to quit. If you choose to quit by using NRT, talk to your health care provider if you are under age 18, pregnant, nursing, smoking fewer than 18 cigarettes per day, or have a medical condition.
– Gum: Nicotine gum is available over the counter and provides oral gratification. You control how often you chew it based on your cravings.
– Patch: The nicotine patch is available by prescription or over the counter and provides a steady dose of nicotine throughout the day.
– Nasal Spray: Nicotine nasal spray delivers nicotine to the brain faster than the patch or gum, and it is available by prescription only.
– Inhaler: The nicotine inhaler delivers nicotine through the membranes of the mouth (rather than through the lungs) and provides a substitute for the hand-t0-mouth gratification previously satisfied by cigarettes.
– Lozenges: Nicotine lozenges are similar to gums in that they are available over the counter and deliver nicotine through the mouth on an as-needed basis.
- Oral medication: Oral medication has a high success rate when used in combination with NRT. It works to control chemicals in the brain to reduce nicotine cravings and ease the symptoms of withdrawal. Due to the side effects associated with oral medication, make sure to talk to your doctor before choosing this quit method.
If you receive your health insurance through the GIC, you can receive additional assistance in quitting through your health plan. No matter what your quit date or which method you decide to choose, I wish you luck on your journey to becoming a former smoker.