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How to get rid of smoking addiction?

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Dr. Ashish Mittal

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1856 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 17 Dec 2012 in Mental Health
Question: I have tried to quit smoking a few times and the last time I was able to quit for more than 8 months but then it just started again. Is there any way to keep away from smoking. My tries have all been cold XXXXXXX because I dont warm up to the use of other forms of nicotine. Any reasons why someone would again go back without any stress or push. It just so happened that I felt like having one and then it started all over again.
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Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 2 hours later
Hello,
Thanks for your query.
I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

Cigarette contain nicotine. Nicotine addiction is one of most severe addiction. Every addiction in medical terms considered as chronic illness, means there is always risk of relapse. So, do not get de motivated or feel guilt due relapse, and start again to quit as soon as possible after each relapse. But always remember in every quit attempt (smoke free period) body repair itself to some extent.

It is good that you know harmful effect of smoking, as it affect every organ of body dangerously.

Cold XXXXXXX method is associated with severe discomfort for person. So, many physician do not advise it.

For de addiction following steps are followed:
-Consent of the patient: you himself seeking guidance from us
-Motivational interviewing: you are already motivated to quit smoking, but need to maintain this motivation
-Stoppage of smoking with prevention of discomfort or withdrawal: Nicotine replacement for short duration
-relapse prevention: by anti craving treatment with medicines like Bupron
-maintenance treatment.

First you reduce number of cigarettes smoked per day. You reduce it 1 cig every alternate day. Same time medicine like Bupron are given to reduce craving for smoking. We have many patients who stopped smoking with its help. But for that you need prescription from psychiatrist.

After 14 days of start of Bupron, fixed a quit date to stop smoking completely. Throw your all remaining cig and associated material like lighters on that day, otherwise they will create craving for smoking. Inform your friends and family member for quit date as it will increase your motivation.

After stopping smoking you may experienced some nicotine withdrawal like anxiety, headache, poor concentration, restlessness and increase appetite. For that you can use nicotine replacement in form of Nicorette gum according to your requirement given on pack for 1-2 month. You can also use mouth fresheners like Elaichi during craving for smoking. After that you are free from smoking.

Always remember being smoke free, need high level of motivation. So maintain your motivation. I have simplified steps to quit smoking for you. It is better if you quit under some de addiction specialist (psychiatrist), as it is a specialized area and keep follow up to remain motivated. Avoid place, person and situations which create craving for smoking, as much as possible.

Many psychiatrist and psychologist provide relapse prevention sessions to prevent relapse, which is also helpful.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.
Regards,
Dr Ashish XXXXXXX Mittal


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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