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How do I quit smoking ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
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How do I quit smoking
Posted Wed, 20 Jun 2012 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 1 hour later
Thanks for the query.
Smoking tobacco is both a psychological habit and a physical addiction. The act of smoking is ingrained as a daily ritual and, at the same time, the nicotine from cigarettes provides a temporary, and addictive, high. Eliminating that regular fix of nicotine will cause your body to experience physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings. To successfully quit smoking, you’ll need to address both the habit and the addiction by changing your behavior and dealing with nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
How to quit smoking
Start your stop smoking plan with START
S = Set a quit date.

T = Tell family, friends, and co-workers that you plan to quit.

A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you'll face while quitting.

R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car, and work.

T = Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit.

A combination of behavioral and drug therapy works for quitting.
The available choices are Non Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT), Bupropion and Varenicline
NRT are available in gums and patches. They are devoid of side effects and only marginally increase the success rate of quitting.
Bupropion is an antidepressant, which was accidentally found to have anti smoking properties. It has side effects with an overall success rate of only 15-20%.
Varenicline (Champix) was FDA approved in 2007. It is the only non nicotinic drug for smoking cessation and by far the most effective drug therapy. Increases quit rate from 40% to 60%. Side effects include nausea, sleep disturbance and some suicidal ideation. Hence, caution should be exercised in patients with uncontrolled depression.
Equally important is counseling and behavioral therapy. One prepares the smoker prior to quit attempt and supports the person during the period when he is in abstinence. Equally important is the period of follow up (three months after quitting).
A close follow is required to prevent relapse/lapse; however, a percentage of smokers may relapse and need restart of the above therapies.

Weight gain is common during withdrawal, so counseling has to be done for exercise and diet.
Mood swings may also occur.

Since quitting smoking is a complex thing,you must consult a psychiatrist for behavioral therapy and counseling and a physician for the drug therapy.
I hope to have answered your query however you may revert to me for any other query.
thanks and best of luck.

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