Stop Smoking

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Gums, Patches, Hypnosis- Methods To Help You Quit Smoking
If you are a smoker, you have undoubtedly tried several times to quit the habit. But, for some, this struggle seems to be a little more difficult than for others. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods available to help you win the fight. The important part is finding the one that is right for you.

A) Using gum to quit smoking-
Nicotine gum is a form of nicotine replacement that works quickly by getting into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane in your mouth. It can be purchased without a prescription and comes in strengths of 2 mg and 4 mg.

It is important when using nicotine gum to follow the included directions carefully. You should chew the gum until you notice a peppery taste, and then let it set against your cheek for a while. You should alternate between chewing it and putting it against your cheek for about 20-30 minutes. Certain foods and drinks, however, can affect how well the nicotine is absorbed by your system. Therefore, you should avoid eating certain foods and drinks that are acidic, such as juices, coffee, and soft drinks, for 15 minutes before and after you use the nicotine gum.

If you are a heavy smoker who smokes a pack or more per day, if you smoke within 30 minutes after getting up, or if you have trouble refraining from smoking in areas where it is restricted, you should probably start with 4 mg. You should not, however, use more than 20 pieces of nicotine gum per day. In addition, you should only use nicotine gum for 1 to 3 months and for no longer than 6 months. You should work toward gradually decreasing the amount of gum you chew.

People with sensitive skin often prefer gum over a nicotine patch. Gum also allows you to better control the amount of nicotine you ingest when compared to the patch. This is because you only chew the gum when you need it or you can create a fixed schedule every day. In fact, recent data has shown that scheduled doses of nicotine gum are more effective than using it ?as needed.?

Possible side effects of nicotine gum include: throat irritation, bad taste, hiccups, mouth ulcers, jaw discomfort, nausea, and a racing heartbeat. Problems with the jaw and stomach are usually caused by using the gum improperly, such as chewing too rapidly or swallowing nicotine.

B) Using the patch to quit smoking-
A nicotine patch will provide you with small measured doses of nicotine through your skin throughout the day. Switching to different patches over time gradually lowers the doses, until you are finally weaned from nicotine. Nicotine patches can be purchased without a prescription and there are several different strengths available.

The 16 hour patch is recommended for those who are light to medium smokers. This patch is less likely to cause side effects such as sleep problems, a racing heartbeat, headache, and skin irritation. This patch does not, however, deliver nicotine during the night. Therefore, it will not help you with withdrawal symptoms early in the morning.

The 24 hour patch also provides a steady dose of nicotine at all times, thereby helping with morning withdrawal symptoms. More side effects, however, are associated with the 24 hour patch, such as skin irritation and disrupted sleep patterns.

Most smokers start with the full-strength patch, which delivers 15 to 22 mg of nicotine, for four weeks. They then move to a weaker patch of 5 to 14 mg for another four weeks. The patch itself is applied in the morning to a dry, clean area on the body that does not contain much hair. The location should be below the neck, but above the waist. While the FDA has recommended using the patch for 3-5 months, some studies have shown 8 weeks to be just as effective.

Side effects of the patch are often caused by the brand of the patch, the dose of nicotine, skin sensitivity, how the patch is applied, and how long the patch is used. Common side effects associated with the nicotine patch include dizziness, skin irritation, racing heartbeat, headache, sleep problems, vomiting, nausea, muscle aches and stiffness. If any of these occur, you should try switching to a different brand, using a lower dose patch, or using a different form of nicotine replacement. If you are having problems sleeping, give it a few days to see if it improves. If not, switch to a lower dosage.

C) Using hypnosis to quit smoking-
Hypnosis is a form of therapy during which a trained hypnotherapist puts you into a trancelike state. While in this state, you are more open to suggestion. Sometimes, hypnosis is done in addition to other remedies you may be utilizing, but it can also be used alone. On occasion, this form of treatment can be effective in as little as one session.

There are no potential side effects of hypnosis. There is, however, very little research proving if it really works or why it works. Critics of this form of therapy say the hypnosis itself doesn?t work; rather it is the patient?s strong belief in the system that makes it effective. But, of course, it really doesn?t matter why it works if it does help you stop smoking.