Why is smoking addictive and how it works?
Why people smoke cigarette?
Immediate effect of Smoking
Symptoms of smoking that you should not neglect
Smoking facts and figures
Why to quit smoking-Timeline of quit smoking:
How to Quit Smoking:
Withdrawal symptoms and how to cope with them:
How to deal with withdrawal symptoms:
Ways to quit smoking:
Assistance, Therapies and Medicines to Quit Smoking:
Few Drugs to help avoid smoking:
It is widely assumed that slight lightheadedness or wooziness caused due to toxic substance in tobacco smoke is what causes addiction. In contrary to the notion, it is Nicotine present in the smoke that results in dependency to the substance. Nicotine is one of the main substances in tobacco. There are over 4000 substances present in tobacco (some studies list out as much as 7000 matters). Out of these around 60 to 80 substances are known to be cancerous. Nicotine on the other hand is not a cancerous component.
Nicotine increases the functioning pace of nervous system and brain. It stimulates secretion of dopamine in your brain which is a bodily chemical that escalates the mood, renders calming sensation and enhances alertness. The substance is passed to brain through lining in nose or mouth. It takes merely 10 seconds for level of nicotine in your blood to rise. As the person keeps smoking overtime, the brain becomes accustomed to nicotine stimulation and natural ability of the body to regulate mood decreases. In case of absence or reduction in level of nicotine in the body the smoker craves for nicotine to feel normal as accustomed due to nicotine. Through the course of time, smoker’s nicotine demand increases. In some cases if nicotine is not supplied to the body the person may start experiencing nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
There are various reasons why people start smoking; ultimately the consequence is one, threat to life. Some of the possible factors that may cause a person to smoke are listed below.
- Relief from stress: People who are affected with severe psychological issues, smoking cigarette acts as reliever, though hazardous to health. Mild to high level of stress is often dealt with smoking. Ironically, some people do not feel such relief.
- Peer pressure or socialization: One of the common factors that can lead one into habit of smoking is socialization. This factor is a common influence especially in teenagers. It renders a sense of belonging. Sometimes, non-smokers are forced to try smoking which gradually develops into habit.
- Boisterous risk taking behavior:
Such people may have a tendency to try new, unfavorable practices. This may even include breaking rules by smoking in no-smoking zone.
- Familial influence:
Studies have depicted that familial influence play a significant role in making people smoke and develop dependency gradually, particularly when one of the parents is a smoker.
According to global research, cigarette advertisements contribute to cause a non-smoker try to smoke. Looking at the advertisement which may depict sensuality to certain extent, non-smokers may get tempted to try smoking. One of the cigarette brands which also manufactures flavored cigarette, published an ad which suggest buyers to blow cigarette smoke on their women’s face to make them follow. This is something that entices people to try smoking.
Some people who are sexually active may also have fetish to smoking women. Any such fantasy in a non-smoker may cause them to try smoking.
Other reasons for smoking
- Dare to show one is bold
- To appear cool and sophisticated
- To feel grown-up
- To vaunt independence
- Trying obtained, free- samples of cigarette
- Influences from others whom you follow such as actors, superiors, etc
- In effort to lose weight
- Calming nerves
- To suppress foul smell of defecation while in toilet
Smoking is rated as one of the leading cause of deaths in the entire world. Approximately 440,000 deaths are attributed to smoking and 49,400 for passive smoking. When a person starts smoking and continues for considerably long time, he is made susceptible to around 50 severe medical conditions; a number of these can also be fatal.
Immediate effect of smoking on brain:
- Increases stress:- Contrary to the notion that smoking can relieve stress, it in fact alleviates stress in many individuals. According to studies it is determined that an average smoker is affected with more stress than non-smoker.
- Alters natural chemical of brain: As compared to non-smokers, brain cells in smokers are lower in count. Particularly the level of dopamine (a significant brain cell receptor) in brain is reduced in case of smokers.
Immediate effect if smoking on Respiratory System:
- Bronchospasm: Bronchospasm is a term used to refer to a condition wherein airways become irritated or inflamed. The muscle band that surrounds the airways may become contracted causing difficulty taking breath and wheezing. This is common occurrence in asthma, but in case of smokers, they are susceptible to such complications.
- Increased mucus or phlegm production: Smoking may cause lungs to produce increased amount of mucus which may trap toxic substances and chemicals. Normally, cilium coats the air-passage and moves symmetrically to clear away the mucus. This becomes an effective process for eliminating phlegm when combined with coughing. However, tobacco smoke makes these cilia paralyzed affecting the body’s natural function for eradication of phlegm and toxic substance.
- Consistent coughing: Coughing is a natural process of the body which is a response to eradicate irritants from airways and lungs. If cilia are not present then it becomes extremely difficult to eliminate such irritants. Thus a person tends to try harder and cough persistently to throw-out irritating mucus.
- Decreased Physical activity: Under influence of strenuous activities such as playing sports, gymnasium, etc, the body demands for increased level of oxygen. Smokers usually have phlegm and Bronchospasm which may make it difficult to breath and sufficient oxygen is not supplied to the lungs and other regions. This restricts their ability to perform optimally according to their physical level.
Immediate effect of smoking on cardiovascular System:
- Unfavorable lipid profile: Body contains two kind of fats HDL (High-density lipoprotein which is good) and LDL (Low density lipoprotein which is unhealthy). Unhealthy fats can circulate through blood and cause the blood vessel in cardiovascular system to become narrower by sticking to the inner walls. Generally, there is a balance of HDL and LDL in healthy non-smokers. However, when one starts smoking this balance starts to aggravate and LDL level increases in the body which can lead to heart issues such as heart attack or strokes. In fact a person who smokes around 1 to 5 cigarettes a day is at increased risk of heart condition.
- Atherosclerosis: This is a condition wherein cholesterol forms plaque development that sticks to inner wall of arteries. This plaque hinders circulation of blood through affected arteries. Substances present in tobacco smoke can circulate through blood and affect body’s biomechanics to prevent plaque development. This eventually degrades blood flow to heart and fro, increasing risk of heart attack.
- Thrombosis: Thrombosis is a medical anomaly in which blood- clot is formed inside blood vessel. When vessels are injured, normally blood clots are formed to cease bleeding; this is done through an enzyme called thrombin. In smokers the level of this enzyme is dangerously hiked placing them at risk of surplus blood-clotting which can cease blood circulation to vital organs. This may cause sudden death as well.
- Vasoconstriction: Constriction of blood vessel is a medical condition which can affect even light or intermittent smokers. This happens because smoking truncates the level of Nitric Oxide or NO2 which is an essential component for dilating blood vessels. This condition may lead to fatal complications especially if accompanied with conditions such as arthrosclerosis or thrombosis.
- Increased heart rate: Heart rate refers to speed at which heart beats or pumps blood throughout the body. It is recognized that smokers have two to three heart beats more every minute as compared to non-smokers. Consumption of nicotine increases heart rate 30 minute after smoking. The heart rate is related to nicotine level; higher the level of nicotine in body the higher will be heart beat rate. Increased heart beat is unhealthy as fast beating heart can exhaust faster, which may increase your chances of heart attack, strokes, etc.
- Increased blood pressure: Blood pressure is tension that is exerted on the walls of arteries. There are two types of pressure, high blood pressure (Hypertension) and low blood pressure (hypotension). Smoking has a tendency to increase blood pressure in the body. It is recorded that older men who smoke are more prone to hypertension than non-smoking individuals. High blood pressure augments the workload on the heart which may cause it to wear-out faster. Hypertension is also said to cause damages to organ such as kidney.
Immediate effect of smoking on Immune system:
- Otitis Media: This is an inflammatory condition of the middle-ear. Smoking is associated to ear related issues to certain extent as discovered through researches. It is recorded that children exposed to secondhand smoke or passive smoking are at increased risk of suffering from ear infection than those who are not exposed to it. It is also determined that smoking can damage the natural cleaning mechanism of the ear allowing infection to occur.
- Sinusitis: This is an inflammatory condition of sinus. Sinuses are structure in skulls which are connected with nose and mouth. Sinus lining contains cilia which are necessary for eradication of mucus and other foreign substance. Smoking affects the performance of these cilia which may lead to infection as well as inflammation.
- Rhinitis: When the inner lining of nasal passage becomes inflamed, the condition is called Rhinitis. This may lead to issues such as sneezing, runny nasal passage, itchiness of eyes, nose, etc. Since substances in tobacco can cause paralysis of cilia present in the nasal passage, it may increase chances of inflammation and infection.
Some other health effects of smoking are:
- Mouth cancer
- Lips cancer
- Throat cancer
- Cancer of larynx
- Oesophagus cancer
- Cancer of bladder
- Stomach cancer
- Liver and pancreas cancer
- Coronary heart disease
- Myocardial infarction
- Blood vessel damages
Effect of smoking during pregnancy:
- Early birth or premature birth
- Significantly lower weight of baby at birth
- Sill birth
- Placental issues
- SIDS Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
- Baby may be born with birth defects
Most people who smoke are completely aware of possible consequences but they are still not willing to quit. Smoking is always consistently degrading your health insidiously, out of your knowledge. But there are certain indications that should alert you about your degrading health, though one should not wait for these signs to show-up before quitting. This is because you may also develop an insidious cancer. However, few of such signs of smoking include:
- Dull skin: This is one of the common signs seen in smokers. Once you quit smoking the dermatologic effect of ‘before and after’ of the skin can be seen.
- Consistent cough: If a smoker feels exhausted by walking too fast then it indicate his health is being damaged by smoking, if no underlying medical condition is associated. You may also feel uncomfortable if you are exposed to cold weather or inhale steam. This indicates reaction of lungs to excess irritation.
- Affected sense of taste and smell: Smoking is said to affect the taste bud which is why smokers do not eat much which may serve as a reason why smokers lose weight and dramatically gain back after quitting.
- Inappropriate sleep: Nicotine is said to be a stimulant which can hinder your sleep significantly.
- Freezing limbs: It is also recorded that smoking can also lead to freezing hands and feet which is mostly suffered by smokers.
- Flu: Individuals who are habituated to smoke becomes more vulnerable to flu and may develop flu like symptoms.
- Lesions: In case, if smoking habit is promoting you to cancer then you may also suffer from precancerous lesions.
Cigarette smoking is considered as one of the leading causes of deaths but at the same time it is also the most preventable source of morbidity and associated death. Around 443.000 individuals die every year due to smoking. US alone spent over $193 billion in smoking, according to estimations evaluated in 2004. Here are statistical data on cigarette smoking.
- Estimated number of smokers in the year 2009 was approx 20.6% that makes up to 46.6 million smokers above the age of 18 years.
- Male population display significantly higher smoking prevalence than female population. According to the statistics in 2009 around 23.5% men and 17.9% females were smokers.
- The prevalence rate was more in non-Hispanic whites accounting for 22.2% of the entire smoking population and was the lowest in non-Hispanic black which 14.5% and in Asian accounting to 12%.
- According to 2009 statistics it was determined that out of all high-school students erstwhile in US around 19.5% were smokers.
- Around 3400 deaths due to lung cancer were recorded in 2009, caused due to passive smoking or second hand smoke; while the rate of heart disease associated deaths was around 46,000, attributed to second hand smoke.
- Parental smoking is also said to be associated with aggravation of asthma in children (due to second hand smoke).
- Tobacco smoke contains around 4800 chemicals (some studies number it to be between 5000 and 7000). Out of these around 69 are known to be cancerous (number may vary according to researches).
- Smoking causes around 90% of deaths recorded due to lung cancer. It is also attributed for approx 85 to 90 percent of COPD deaths.
- Approximately 8.6 million people in United States suffer from severe illness caused due to smoking.
- Chronic lung disease is recorded in around 73% individuals who have smoking related health issues. Even in ex-smokers lung condition is recorded in 50% of cases registered for serious illness.
- Average age difference between death of smokers and of non-smoker is 13.2 years in men and 14.5 years in women. This clearly indicates that smokers die much earlier.
- 2 to 3 percent of low baby weight during birth is attributed to smoking and preterm term labor caused due to the condition is recorded to be 14%.
- In cases of healthy babies born of women who smoked during pregnancy were later diagnosed with narrowed air passage and affected lung functioning.
- In the year 2005 it was recorded that around 11% women used cigarette during pregnancy
There is no beneficial reason to continue smoking but there are numerous reasons for quitting smoking that can save your life. The moment you stop smoking your body starts to recover within 30 minutes and you may regain full health. Here is the timeline of quit smoking.
20 minutes: After 20 minutes from the time you quit smoking, your blood pressure and the heart rate drops to a normal level.
8 hours: Nicotine level in the body drops to 6.25% of the normal peak nicotine level which is around 93.75% drop.
12 hours: Level of oxygen in blood increases significantly to normal level and carbon monoxide level drops considerably.
24 hors: Anxiety peaks in 24 hours but gradually within 14 days it reaches pre-cessation stage.
48 hours: Damaged nerve starts to re-grow and sense of taste and smell returns to normal. Anger and irritability will peak during this period.
72 hours: By this time your body will be completely free of nicotine and most of its metabolites. Lung Bronchial which connects to alveoli starts to relax and recover and breathing becomes much easier.
5 to 8 days: During this period ex-smoker will experience around 3 crave for smoking a day. These crave usually lasts longer than three minutes but handling them becomes difficult.
10 days: By this period the average, ex-smoker starts experiencing only two, cue incurred craves a day each lasting for less than three minutes.
10 days to 2 weeks: At this time the recovery is significantly progressed and addiction is no longer influential on the body. Gums and teeth also becomes like that of non-smoker.
2 – 4 weeks: Withdrawal symptoms such as anger, anxiousness, insomnia, etc, end by 4th week approx. if you continue to experience such symptoms consult your doctor.
21 days: Acetylcholine in brains becomes up-regulated due to smoking and after 21 days from quitting smoking it again becomes down-regulated at the same time receptor binding becomes normal.
2 weeks to 3 months: Risk of heart attack starts to decrease and lung functions onsets to return to normalcy.
3 weeks to 3 months: Blood circulation in the body improves substantially and walking becomes easier and cough starts to disappear.
8 weeks: Despite of weight gain the insulin resistance in the ex-smoker becomes normal.
1-9 months: Sinus congestion, tiredness and shortness of breathe decreases and cilia regrow in the lung stimulating maintenance activity by cleaning away any mucus in the lung. Overall energy in the body increases
1 year: Risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke drops by 50%.
5 years: There is a 59% decrease in risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage. In female ex-smoker the risk of being affected with diabetes is as low as in non-smokers.
5 to 15 years: The risk of stroke significantly declines and becomes equal to that of non smoker.
10 years: There is a 50% decline in the risk of lung cancer associated death and your chances of developing condition are reduced by 50% to 30%.
13 years: Risk of smoking associated loss of tooth reduces to a level that matches with non smoker.
15 years: Coronary heart disease risk in an ex-smoker, by this time, is that if a person who never smoked.
15 to 20 years: The risk of pancreatic cancer is that of people who never smoked. Danger of death due to smoking resulted causes in females is now comparable to that of a person who never smoked in life.
There are also other general health benefits which are reason, rational enough to decide on quitting smoking.
- Better sexual experience: Since, quitting smoking enhances blood flow in the body it improves sensuality. Men who cease the habit may experience harder penile stiffness. Women can find the sensitivity of their organ enhanced which would allow them to become aroused easily.
- Enhanced fertility: It is said that if a woman is trying to become pregnant or a man is trying to impregnate his wife, they should stop smoking which increases chances of conceiving. Smoking affects fertility in women and when a female stops smoking the lining of her womb becomes normal and more fertile. On the other hand the odds of sperm being cultivated become higher.
- Healthy Skin: Smoking speeds the process of facial-skin ageing. When you stop smoking the process is slowed to normal after a certain time and you may look better and radiant.
- Whiter teeth: Smoking causes teeth to become paled and unhealthy. Ceasing smoking can help in maintaining teeth health and if you take appropriate treatments, then the process may get speed up.
- Enhanced breaching: Smoking also hinders breathing in almost all smokers. Hence, by giving up smoking one can experience improved respiration.
- Longer life: Around 50% of long term smoker die much earlier than non smoker of same age. It is also studied that people who cease smoking also live longer a compared to those who continue smoking
- Reduced stress: Studies indicate that stress level in people is significantly reduced when they leave smoking. This is in contrary to the notion that stress can be relieved by smoking.
- Increased energy: When a person quits smoking his blood circulation improves. This makes physical activity easier and level of exhaustion reduces. Body’s ability to fight common cold and other infections, also becomes enhanced.
First step towards quitting smoking is to take initiative and start your program right away; do not postpone the time you plan to quit smoking. You should also identify your trigger, means what causes you to smoke. This is one of the best ideas that will help in giving up the habit. Remember that some people with strong will and self-control can quit ‘cold turkey’, but for some it may take several attempts. Finding your trigger is a way to identify what makes you smoke and avoid it. Maintain a record of certain things such as time of crave that you usually experience, how badly you needed to smoke, the task that you were performing while the urge aroused, you company during the time of crave, what you felt when the urge triggered, how you felt after smoking, etc. Maintaining such a journal will help you evaluate the nature of your addiction and you can avoid noted trigger which will help you significantly in escaping the bad habit.
Alternate technique for psychological conditions, rather than smoking
Analyze yourself and determine whether you smoke to suppress unpleasant psychological feeling such as stress, loneliness, anxiousness, depression etc. Some people claim that the only way they have to obtain relief is through cigarettes. This is just an easy way out of the relevant issues but a bad one. There are many other ways to deal with such aforementioned anomalies rather taking a path to adverse consequences. If you are stressed or depressed, talk to your doctor or psychologist, they are of better help than cigarette. Having control on ones’ mind and thoughts can help overcoming underlying worries. This will allow you to socialize better, get into sports, enroll for your favorite activities, make new friends, find new hobbies and there are many more to add. Strategies your life and see every obstacle as a dare or challenge. Such mindset will allow to you give up smoking and lead a better enjoyable life.
Avoid common smoking triggers:
Apart from your natural habituated body cycle, there are various external triggers that may cause you to smoke. In the quest of giving up smoking, you should be strictly decided to avoid such triggers and do not get influenced by them. Some of the common triggers that you need to avert are;
- Alcohol: Most people feel to smoke while they booze. A better way to avoid smoking in such scenario is to use chips, nuts and engage your mouth in chewing when you are not sipping. Or even better quit alcohol as well.
- Socializing or friend circle: One of the most common triggers is socializing and peer- pressure. This can be avoided by staying away from friends who smoke or having complete control while you are in the company. Some friends will not respect your decision of quitting smoking and force you to smoke, but you have to be bold and ensure you do not relapse from your quest of quitting smoking.
- After meal: Some people require a fag every time after they have their meal. Since the urge is mostly due to nicotine content being lower in your body, you can use NRT products such as nicotine chewing- gums, nicotine patch to suppress the urge. But in some cases this may not help. Hence take a cup of coffee or your favorite drink and engage your mind is something that you like the most.
- Smoking urge in the morning: Most ex-smoker may have the urge to smoke in the morning when they get out of their bed. This habit can be controlled by switching your smoking-time habit with tea-time habit or use nicotine chewing-gums.
The most difficult part of quitting smoking is when withdrawal symptoms of the condition occur. There are several symptoms that may occur once you stop smoking and body starts to return to normalcy by withdrawing nicotine. Withdrawal symptoms are at the highest during 2nd and 3rd day from the time you quit smoking. These symptoms may also last from few days to even weeks. Also not all ex-smokers experience same symptoms and the complications may differ. These complications are usually not life threatening but are often associated with mood. Common nicotine withdrawal symptoms are:
- Craving from cigarette
- Easy irritation
- Easily becoming angry
- Anxiousness or Nervousness
- Affected concentration
- Increased appetite
- Irrational Tremor
- Increased cough for sometime
- Upset abdomen or constipation
- Reduced heart rate
Remember that these withdrawal symptoms are toughest part of quit-smoking regimen and ones you overcome these symptoms without relapsing then there is nothing much to worry about.
Craving for cigarette is one of the common nicotine withdrawal symptoms and the urge seems to be very strong, but these are present for short term. These can be controlled by diverting your attention to something that interests you more. Program yourself to accept that smoking is injurious, you need to quit and other things are more important. Go for NRT products such as nicotine chewing gums that can suppress the urge for nicotine. You can also adopt exercising as your way to quit smoking. Exercise is said to be a mood booster activity. When you commit yourself to regular exercises your body experiences certain chemical secretion which enhances your mood. This suppresses the urge to smoke.
When urge to smoke evokes, go for hot water bath, take steam and try relaxation techniques. If you suffer from insomnia due to cigarette cessation then do not worry as this will be for short term. However, avoid using caffeine as it can aggravate the issue and reduce even scanty chances of sleep. Try adopting habit of sleep-time reading, people often tend to feel sleepy while they are reading at night. Consulting a doctor can also help you get good sleep through medical regimen.
Keeping your mouth engage is a good way of avoiding smoking along with diversion of your attention somewhere else. Some of the best eatables you can use for keeping your mouth occupied includes carrot, candy, chewing-gums, sunflower seeds, healthy chips, etc. Introduce helpful habits to your lifestyle such as reading magazines or books, listening to calm music, solving puzzles, playing games, etc. This will keep your mind engaged. Tactile stimulation also needs to be suppressed by maintain occupancy of hands by holding pencil, squeeze balls, paper clips, etc. Some experts also state that brushing your teeth can mentally stimulate a sense of freshness and cleanliness which can make you less interested in smoking.
If you experience impulse to smoke start drinking water sip by sip gradually to continue drinking for long time such as 10 to 20 minutes. This not only helps in suppressing the urge but also rids your body of toxicants. It also aids in maintaining body’s hydration level. At home when you are alone you may have strong episodes of impulses urging you to smoke. In such a time you can adopt any of the aforementioned techniques or else try to burn some incense in the house, this will spread a certain aroma in the house and the smoke that you may inhale can also quench your desire to fag.
Quit Smoking- In case of relapse:
Relapsing from the regimen of quitting smoking is common and most people need several attempts to be free of the habit. So if you relapse then do not be worried, but maintain your motivation and regain control on yourself. In fact, try to learn from your mistakes and avoid the factor that caused you to relapse. This is an important phase of quit smoking program and most smoker on the quest of a smoking free life relapse from their plan.
Quitting smoking is something that most people desire to do but the insidious addiction keeps them from accomplishing their goal. Here are some ways in which people quit smoking.
- Quitting ‘Cold Turkey’ which means that right away
- Decreasing the number of cigarettes systematically and then not using cigarettes on certain days then weeks and months. This is an effective way to quitting if taken as a challenge.
- Decreasing nicotine intake if you are also using any NRT products as Nicotine Replacement Therapy can replace nicotine with cigarette but they do not suppress nicotine addiction
- Using NRT is beneficial if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms of giving up smoking.
- Participating in support groups that encourage smoking cessation can be beneficial.
- Acupuncture, hypnosis and counseling can also help by regulating your mind-set.
Medicines to aid smoking cessation
Smoking cessation medicine cannot directly prevent smoking but they help by reducing experienced symptoms due to cessation and decrease intensity of the urge. These medications can work optimally when combined with a strategic quit smoking program. Consult your doctor and evaluate the medicine options that you have according to your health. Two of the treatment techniques approved by the Food and Drug Administration include:
Nicotine replacement therapy:
Nicotine Replacement Therapy or NRT involves replacing cigarettes with other nicotine rich substitutes that are non-hazardous. There are NRT products such as nicotine chewing-gums and patches. These products gradually and consistently provide small and constant dose of nicotine that can suppress the desire to fag. This handles the biological dependency on smoking, allowing smokers to focus on the psychological urge, behavior and coping techniques.
These medicines aid you to cease smoking by decreasing the intensity of experienced urge and symptoms of withdrawal, without using nicotine. There are active ingredients such as bupropian and varenicline which are prescribed for short- term, for smokers who desire to quit smoking.
Alternative treatments to quit smoking:
There are many techniques that you can adopt to cease smoking that do not include use of nicotine replacement or other medications. Hypnosis is one of such alternative technique that can possibly produce good results. Hypnosis is not actually what is portrayed on TV or stage. In fact the technique actually makes the victim to visit a deep stage of relaxation making him/her open to suggestions. These suggestions may fortify your decision to quit smoking.
- Yoga and Acupuncture: These are amongst the oldest recorded medical techniques. Yoga can bring your body and inner soul into sync and have great self control. The technique makes it much easier to control your desire to smoke. Acupuncture on the other hand is said to stimulate release of certain medicines that can cause relaxation of body.
- Behavioral therapies: This therapy can help in regulating habitual behavior of smoker by teaching you new skills and break existing habit.
- Motivational Therapies: Self-help websites and written journals can suggest a range of methods to motivate you and maintain the state of mind. Some people get motivated merely by evaluating and understanding the amount of money they will save by quitting smoking.
- Prescription drugs for quitting smoking:
- Non-prescription drugs:
- Other drugs for quitting smoking:
There are various prescription drugs that are available to help smokers quit smoking. Some of these drugs are also permitted to be used along with NRT therapy. It is best advised to consult a doctor and find out what drugs are suitable for you.
Zyban contains Bupropion which is an anti-depressant agent that helps in truncating nicotine withdrawal symptoms. This medicine does not contain nicotine. The medicine mimics certain brain chemical which is associated with nicotine craving. Bupropion treatment is often suggested to be started approx one to two weeks before you give up smoking. General dosage of this drug is 150 mg tablet taken merely once in 24 hours. If you could successfully avoid smoking for approx 12 weeks then the doctor may suggest continuation of the medicine for sometime more to avoid relapsing. Bupropion is also sold under brand names such as Wellbutrin, Aplenzine, etc.
Vareniciline is the active ingredient of Chantix which is another medicine that can help smokers quit the habit. This medicine countervails nicotine receptors present in brain. This makes the medicine dual action drug by reducing pleasure a person obtains from smoking and suppressing symptoms experienced due to withdrawal.
There are non-prescription medicines available for people who cannot afford FDA approved medicine for quitting smoking. These drugs are also available over the counter without requiring any prescription. Though these are not approved by the leading drug regulatory body, they are suggested by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, thus they are also called as off-label drugs. Some of these drugs are:
This is a long-used anti-depressant medication. When the medicine is used by a group of smoker with mutual goal of ceasing smoking, it indicated doubled chances of quitting smoking as compared to the placebo group or group which did not use any medicine. Before using the drug, ensure to meet your doctor and discuss suitability and possibilities of side-effects.
Clonidine is a drug which is actually approved by the FDA as treatment for Hypertension. This medicine depicted doubled success rate as compared to the placebo group. The medicine can be used twice a day, orally. It is also available in skin-patch form which should be used just once in a week. However, queries regarding use of the drug should be asked to your doctor in order to gain customized dosage instructions.
Other drugs such as naltrexone, which comes in drug form, are under research and trials. These are used with other regimen such as NRT and Bupropion to evaluate its efficacy in suppression of smoking craves. Cytisine is another chemical composition which was tested in Poland recently and was discovered to be beneficial in reducing smoking urge as compared to controlled placebo group. Evaluation depicted that 8% of smoker quit smoking successfully while in case of placebo only 2% improvement was seen. An anti-smoking vaccine is under trail. The medicine is often administered intravenous in series.
There are many such promising treatments which are under development. So far these drugs seem to be safe; however, studies that could depict post-sales reports would provide better information on drug-use among general public.