Cigarette smoking is the most preventable cause of death and illness in the US and the UK. Even though a medical warning is present on the outside of every cigarette package sold, over 1 million adults and children are still deciding to pick up this deadly habit every year. Many medical studies have shown that those who smoke die much earlier in life than those who avoid it.
Furthermore, there is an increased risk of contracting various diseases if the individual smokes on a frequent basis. Smokers do not realise the impact they are having on their surrounding non-smoker family/friends, as passive smoking is also a more recently known killer.
For those who are craving to quit, there are 5 known, effective treatments available today. These top five treatments include cognitive behaviour therapy, the nicotine patch treatment, stop smoking programs, prescription drugs and non-nicotine cigarettes.
Quitting Smoking and Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Cognitive therapy is used for a variety of issues and concerns including depression, eating disorders, phobias and mood disorders. This type of therapy is also used for people who want to quit their smoking habits. By using this kind of therapy, the patient will think more positively about quitting. They are more likely to understand their ambivalent feelings, while they also learn additional ways to cope with stress.
In this kind of therapy, a trained therapist’s role will help the patients with addressing negative thoughts that hamper progress. Hence, to counteract negative thoughts, the therapist will help their patient’s by changing their initial thought patterns. The therapist’s main role is to aid the patient with the replacement of negative responses into more positive ones. For example, instead of the words “I cannot stop” the patient will be encouraged to think/ say “I am going to beat this habit.” This type of therapy revolves around self-belief.
The nicotine patch treatment has been around for many years. These patches can be purchased in different dosages (strengths). Which means, when a smoker wants to quit the habit, they should begin these treatments by using a strong dosage of nicotine. The strong dosage should be used for a specified number of days. Once these initial days are over, the patient will gradually move to a patch that has a lower dosage of nicotine. This process is continued until no patch is needed. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the patch treatment is very effective, especially when it is combined with behavioral modification techniques.
However, here we have found very little evidence of these highly-marketed, expensive and profitable drugs working.
Stop Smoking Programs
Presently, there are several available ‘stop smoking programs’. These programs can be found in a variety of different formats including videos, books and live presentations. While some of these programs are considered to be very effective, they are often much more successful for the patient when they are combined with other natural solutions like the patch and gum lozenges. Therefore, for those who are considering a stop smoking program, they should undergo some of their own research before signing up.
Prescription drugs and Stopping Smoking
Sometimes people have smoked so long that they may need more aggressive treatment in order to quit this habit. This is one of the main reasons why some people may choose to take a prescription drug as an alternative. However, for those who are interested, they should talk to their doctor about recommendations. One major drawback to taking prescription drugs is the adverse side effects. Some of the most commonly known prescription drugs include Bupropion, Nortriptyline and Varenicline.
Electronic Cigarettes and Non-nicotine cigarettes
Another nicotine replacement product is the electronic cigarette. This product is becoming more popular because it helps with simulating smoking. The electronic cigarette can also be used to reduce nicotine gradually until the person quits the habit.
This is a guest post by Micheala Connolly
The treatments discussed above are the ones most commonly sought after, this is because they are both affordable and achievable. Many of the treatments are available through the NHS in the UK who provide ‘quit smoking kits’.
The fact that there is little agreement over the most successful ways to give up smoking points towards not only the difficulty of the question itself but also the number of vested interests involved.
Remember, a lot of people who say that a certain method works stand to make money from you if you decide to use that method. Also, remember also that drug companies invest billions into advertising and lobbying just so you invest your hard earned-money trying to give up a habit that is taking away your hard-earned money.
Take everything you hear with a pinch of salt and don’t forget that the best things in life are free.