Smoking Cessation Programs
48 million people continue to smoke despite the dangers of smoking. This comes to around just 26% of smokers in America. Smoking tobacco causes severe diseases like stroke, heart attacks, cancer, and emphysema. Once you start smoking, it gets nearly impossible to give it up. Many people make attempts to give up smoking, but they fail. All their efforts prove unsuccessful much to the dismay. 45% of the smokers try to quit smoking, but only 10% of them can last without a cigarette for a month. There are various smoking cessation programs and the Agency for Health Care and Policy, and Research has put forward its findings regarding the success of such programs.
Smoking is the most dangerous addiction where a cigarette is most addictive. Once your body gets addicted to nicotine, your body will need the dose of nicotine every day. Heavy smokers cannot live without smoking, and thus they need medical help. To get rid of the addictive and dangerous habit, one can take the help of smoking cessation programs. Among so many programs, you need to choose a suitable program which works best for you.
Some of the Best Smoking Cessation Programs and Their Efficacy
The Agency for Health Care and Policy and Research has carried out an investigation on cessation programs and has come up with the following findings:
- When compared to placebo, nicotine patch is more useful as the abstinence rate is more than 8-12months. The placebo is that patch which appears like nicotine but lacks any nicotine. The nicotine patch is more effective when clubbed with adequate psychological support
- Nicotine gum is creating a lot of interest among the ones looking to quit smoking. Indeed, it is one of the intensively investigated programs. When compared to the nicotine patch, medication or sprays, nicotine gum can improve the cessation rate by 50-60%. When adequate psychological support was provided to the smoker, and the gum was used for a prolonged period, the results were better. If you are highly dependent on tobacco, you should use 4mg nicotine gum.
- FDA asks you to hold a prescription if you intend to use nicotine spray. Nicotine inhaler or spray is effective, but we do not know much about the extent of effectiveness.
- For smoking cessation, certain medications are helpful. They can be anti-depressants, anxiety medications to alleviate smoking withdrawal symptoms.
- Counseling is not so ineffective if used alone. It must be combined with nicotine replacement therapy for better results. Studies suggest that for optimum results, counseling must be combined to nicotine replacement therapy. The person addicted to smoking should take counseling for ten minutes every day for 8 weeks period.
Important Information on Counseling
In case of psychological smoking, it is even more important to choose a highly capable counselor. Weekly counseling session will do for light smokers. When it comes to counseling, generally 4 things are helpful:
- Addressing specific problems of the smoker like how to avoid smoking trigger when a friend lights up the cigarette in front. You may have friends and family members smoking around you. Cravings for tobacco get doubled when one lights up a cigarette. The counselor can help overcome such situations.
- How to manage stress when undergoing a cessation program? You will feel undue stress when you try to avoid nicotine.
- Education on relapse prevention
- How to handle the problem of weight gain?
There may be frequent episodes of mood swings, depression, irritability, and headaches. With strong determination and constant motivation from the counselor, you can overcome them all.
Quit Smoking to Save Money Indirectly
You may be thinking about the cost of treatment. Yes! Smoking cessation program can cost you a lot. You have to pay to the counselor, bear the cost of nicotine gum and take several therapies to relax your body and mind. Things will be very difficult in the initial stages. There will be smoking withdrawal symptoms, intense cravings for tobacco, headache and mood swings. But, have you thought how much money you can save? Smoking causes diseases like cancer and lung ailments that are life-threatening, and by giving up tobacco, you can embrace good health and save on the future medical expenses.
On the other hand, you will not have to spend on packets of cigarettes. On an average, an American smoker spends $800 in a year on tobacco. If you can complete smoking cessation program, you will save on medical expenses. The cost cigarette can soar higher if the government raises tobacco tax.
Top 5 Ways to Quit Smoking
- Looking to kick off the deadly addiction? Cold Turkey is one of the most drastic and powerful programs to help one quit smoking. You just need to look at yourself and avoid tobacco. This will show intense withdrawal symptoms, but there is nothing to panic. Always keep in mind that the intense craving lasts for only 10-12 minutes. You need to control yourself during that time.
- Cut back tobacco consumption and reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. Slowly and gradually you get used to consuming less nicotine. There will come a time when you completely give up smoking. You can make the transition from heavy smoker to going smoke-free easily and smoothly. If you use 20 cigarettes daily, try to decrease it to 10 in a week. There is no need to quit tobacco suddenly, and you can avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms
- Replace the source of nicotine and simply break the addiction chain. Instead of a cigarette, you can use nicotine gum, nicotine patch and spray. Nicotine will enter your bloodstream but that will be too less.
- Going organic can help a lot. Use herbs and natural ways to quit smoking. Nicotine supplements are available that tend to mimic nicotine.
- Hypnotherapy can help you avoid the triggers of smoking. The act of smoking is both physically and mentally problematic. During hypnosis, your mind is programmed in a way that you quickly avoid the triggers.
There can be hundreds of smoking cessation programs. What you choose depends on your needs and smoking habits.