| 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
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.
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
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 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.
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-
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.
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