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How do I quit smoking?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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how to quit smoking
Posted Thu, 20 Sep 2012 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later

Smoking may begin as a voluntary habit but because of the additive effects of nicotine, becomes an addition.
Smoking cessation can involve counselling:(1) brief counselling sessions with your doctor- these have been found to be effective (2) more intensive counselling sessions with trained counsellors and learning techinques to alter behavior

It can also involve the use of medication. There are different types of medication that can be used to help stop smoking: (1) nicotine replacement therapy which works by partially replacing the nicotine you would have received from the cigarrette.They reduce withdrawal symptoms, have a psychological effect on mood.
There are 6 main types: transdermal patch, nicotine spray, nicotine gum,,nicotine inhalor,nicotine lozenge, sublingual(under the tongue) nicotine tablet.
The patch delivers the nicotine a steady rate, there are 4 types which vary according to how long they last.If you smoke more than 10 cig a day then you should use the 21 mg/day patch for 6 weeks, the 14mg/day patch forr 2 weeks and the 7 mg/day patch for 2 weeks.
The dose of the spray can vary according to your level of nicotine addiction, most persons start at 1 or 2 doses a hour which can go up to 40 doses a day.
The gum- you would use 1 piece of gum every 1 to 2 hours for the first 6 weeks then reduce to 1 piece every 2 to 4 hours for the next 3 weeks and finally to 1 piece every 4 to 8 hours for the next 3 weeks. If you are highly dependent choose the 4mg strength gum over the 2 mg strength.
The nicotine lozenge is also used in the 2mg or 4mg strength like the gum, in a similar way.
The inhalor- each inhalor allows for about 2mg of nicotine to be absorbed with each spray. Most persons take about 6 to 16 puffs a day.The treatment time is about 3 months, after this the medication is weaned off over a 6 to 12 week period.

There is also non nicotine medication that can be used to stop smoking such as bupropion,clonidine or varenicline.These are prescribed by a doctor.

Some persons may combine nicotine replacement medications eg the patch with the spray or gum.Combining the patch (which prevents severe withdrawal) with another method (which provide relief when faced with scenarios that promote smoking) may be useful

Medication can also be combined with counselling, together they are more effective than if used separately.

I hope this information is helpful, feel free to ask any other questions
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