Diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and lung disease, are linked to smoking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smokers die 10 years earlier on average than non-smokers. This is why it is important for you to quit smoking.
The good news is that many people who smoke tobacco want to quit. This is because of the health dangers involved. Quitting smoking is thus a proven technique to avoid numerous ailments, including lung and heart disease.
In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that hospitalized smokers with COVID-19 had a higher risk of serious disease and mortality than non-smokers. Despite the dangers, over 15% of American people smoke. Nicotine is addicting, and quitting is difficult. There is, however, a lot of help and support available. According to research, it is feasible to break this unhealthy habit and kick it for good if you take the appropriate strategy.
Since Quitting smoking lowers your risk of heart and lung disease, as well as cancer and other health conditions, we present 6 methods to help you quit smoking.
Adults in several countries use Varenicline as a first-line medication to help them quit smoking. Nicotine’s actions in the brain that make you want to smoke are blocked by this drug. This medicine should be used in conjunction with a program that includes education, support, and counseling to maximize your chances of success.
Doctors frequently give varenicline (Champix or Chantix) to smokers who want to quit smoking because it causes the release of dopamine, the feel-good chemical in the brain. Smoking nicotine has a similar effect, except it involves more dopamine.
Because of the drop in dopamine, those who try to quit frequently experience depression and anxiety. Varenicline reduces cravings and the consequences of nicotine withdrawal by inhibiting nicotine receptors in the brain. That is why in order to prevent a decline in mood, doctors frequently recommend or prescribe nicotine patches or antidepressants containing varenicline.
As a first-line treatment for quitting smoking, the American Thoracic Society suggests using this medicine for at least 12 weeks. Starting this medicine rather than nicotine patches, electronic cigarettes, or other treatments is actually preferable.
A doctor may, however, recommend that you use nicotine patches in addition to this medication. Talk to your doctor about the risks and advantages of this drug, as well as other options for quitting smoking (such as nicotine replacement therapy).
Antidepressant bupropion (Zyban) may assist smokers in quitting. It lowers the dopamine deficit associated with nicotine withdrawal symptoms in the same way that varenicline does. As a result, it may help to lessen irritation and difficulty concentrating, which are common side effects of quitting smoking.
Varenicline, rather than bupropion, is recommended in guidelines as being more effective. Bupropion is less expensive; however it may be ineffective. Bupropion Guidelines have clear contraindications for this medicine thus advisable to often seek medical doctors’ guidance before using it.
3. Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Another available solution available for you if you are to quit cigarette smoking is the use of the nicotine patch. In some countries, this may be sold as an over-the-counter solution.
Usually, the nicotine patch is worn for a full day. Even while taking a shower or bath, the patch may be worn. Put a new patch on clean skin when you wake up and wear it continuously for 24 hours. You can remove the patch before going to bed and reapply it the following morning if you discover that you are experiencing vivid nightmares or sleep disturbances.
To help control cravings, it is advised that you use the patch in conjunction with nicotine gum or lozenges. You can begin using both the patch and gum or lozenge, or if withdrawal symptoms persist, you can add gum or lozenge later. While gum or lozenges can be used more quickly to treat nicotine cravings as they occur, patches can assist reduce withdrawal by maintaining a consistent dose of nicotine in the body.
An electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) is a device that allows individuals to consume nicotine in a vapor form without other dangerous tobacco byproducts like tar and carbon monoxide. E-cigarettes can aid in quitting smoking since the nicotine amount of the e-liquid can be gradually reduced, similar to NRT.
Electronic cigarettes, on the other hand, may pose additional dangers. As a result, current guidelines advise doctors to prescribe varenicline or NRT instead of e-cigarettes. Despite this, many doctors believed that e-cigarettes might help smokers stop, however, there is currently little evidence to support this.
5. Acupuncture & hypnotherapy
To assist them to quit smoking, some people use hypnotherapy or acupuncture. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, while these methods may be beneficial, there is limited empirical evidence to back them up.
They may enhance abstinence, according to at least one review, although additional study is needed to validate this. If people want to quit smoking, they should seek out a skilled specialist to do these therapies
The active chemical in the lobelia plant, lobeline, is thought to operate in respect to smoking, by binding to the same brain receptor sites as nicotine. It causes the release of dopamine, which aids in the reduction of mood swings and cravings associated with quitting smoking. According to anecdotal evidence, lobelia, often known as Indian tobacco, can aid in the cessation of smoking. Lobelia may also aid in the removal of excess mucus from the respiratory tract, such as the throat, lungs, and bronchial tubes, which is common in smokers who are trying to quit. More research is needed, however, to make a definitive determination. Since research on lobelia is limited, no standardized dosages or recommendations exist. One study in adults suggested that up to 30 mg of lobeline per day in tablet form appears to be safe.
In conclusion, quitting smoking is beneficial for a person’s health. It’s’ appreciated that several ways can be used to achieve this target. It’s advisable to seek medical help whenever practical. A doctor can recommend medications to reduce cravings, while lifestyle changes can boost motivation. Many medical interventions such as nicotine patches are available in pharmacies but its always advisable to consult the doctor.
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