How to Choose a Smoking Cessation Program

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, quitting smoking is the single most important step to increasing the length and quality of life. Because the nicotine found in cigarettes is so addictive, smoking can be a very difficult habit to break. Many smokers fear weight gain, cravings, and other side effects of withdrawal. However, choosing the right smoking cessation program can help keep these factors to a minimum. Quitting smoking will improve your health and the health of those around you, in addition to lowering your risks of long-term respiratory problems. Begin by deciding that you want to stop smoking, and follow these tips for finding the cessation program that will best fit your lifestyle.


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    Make a list detailing the reasons you want to quit. This could include anything from wanting to remain healthy for your kids or loved ones, to improving the way you feel. Consider the cost of cigarettes and the money you will save.
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    Choose a method of quitting. The physical aspect of nicotine addiction may require that you need to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to help with your smoking cessation. The average smoker may fail 3 to 4 times when trying to quit "cold turkey." According to the American Cancer Society, 70 to 90 percent of smokers don't want to quit because of withdrawal symptoms.
    • Consult your doctor about the NRT that will be right for you. Over-the-counter nicotine replacement comes in the form of gums, sprays, lozenges and patches.
    • Ask your doctor about oral medications that help with smoking cessation. Based on your health, your physician may prescribe you medication that is designed to help smokers quit, such as Chantix. Other anti-depressant medications, such as Zyban, help to curb the cravings for cigarettes.
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    Declare a quit date. Write down a date that you choose to quit. Notify family and friends so that they can offer you support.
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    Seek help with the mental part of addiction. Smoking cessation "quitlines" exist throughout Europe and in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the United States. These toll-free telephone lines offer trained smoking cessation counselors on the line 24 hours a day. In addition, peer and support groups such as Nicotine Anonymous offer local support with regular meetings available.
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    Change your personal habits and triggers. Smoking is both a mental and a physical addiction. Once you have decided to quit, alter your lifestyle to avoid triggers that may make it more difficult to abstain. Remove any ashtrays from your home. Ask others to refrain from smoking around you. If drinking alcohol makes you want to smoke, find another outlet at cocktail time, such as taking a walk or a bike ride.


  • When looking for a local support group or cessation program, try to find one that offers the following: each session is at least 15 to 30 minutes in length; there are at least 4 sessions; and the program lasts at least 2 weeks.


  • Always consult your own doctor before deciding to take use NRT. He may consider if health factors, such as heart disease or pregnancy, would make NRT a good choice.

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Categories: Smoking Addictions