help stop smoking

Smoking is one of the most common forms of drug use in the UK. A study published by the NHS in 2018 shows 17.2% of adults in the UK smoked cigarettes. It means that around one in six adults in the UK smokes cigarettes. However, many ways can help if you want to stop smoking. 

Smoking is more common among men than women are. It is also more common among younger adults, with 29.5% of 18-24-year-olds, compared to 10.8% of 65-74-year-olds. In addition, tobacco use is most common among people who live in routine and manual households, with 26% of these adults smoking. It compares to 15% of adults who live in managerial and professional households. Moreover, smoking rates are higher among people with a limiting long-term illness (26.9%) and the unemployed (25.7%).

The use of tobacco can have adverse effects on your body. Therefore, look for a doctor who can help you stop smoking. 

What are the side effects of smoking?

Cigarette smoke can have many harmful effects on your health. Some among numerous ones are as follows-

  • Increases your risk of cancer, including lung cancer, throat cancer, and stomach cancer
  • Elevates the threat of heart disease and stroke
  • Can cause fertility problems
  • Can damage your lungs, making it difficult to breathe
  • Can make asthma worse
  • Can cause early death

What are the ways to get over nicotine addiction?

Many different ways can help you stop smoking. It is best to set a quit date and stick to it. Nevertheless, some of the options for quitting include-

  • Nicotine patches
  • Nicotine gum
  • Prescription medications
  • Behavioral counseling

Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting any program or treatment. 

What is nicotine replacement therapy?

Nicotine replacement therapy uses nicotine in some form to help people go without a cigarette. There are several nicotine replacement therapies. They are-

  • Patches
  • Gums
  • Nasal sprays
  • Inhalers

These therapies provide low doses of nicotine over time. It lends you a hand in fighting the cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Nicotine patch

One popular way to stop smoking is using the nicotine patch. The patch is a small and adhesive patch placed on the skin. It delivers nicotine through the skin to help reduce cravings. However, you should use the correct dose of nicotine for the recommended amount of time. 

Nicotine gums

Nicotine gum is another option to control your addiction. Chewing nicotine gum delivers nicotine to the body. It provides a nicotine replacement when your cravings arise. Moreover, it prevents weight gain, which often results when you try to stop smoking. Be sure to follow the directions for using this treatment. Moreover, do not overdose on the medication. 

What are the side effects of NRT?

NRT has nicotine in it, which is addictive. It can also cause many side effects when you first start using it. This happens because your body needs to get used to the nicotine again. Nevertheless, some of its after-effects are-

  • Nausea 
  • Coughing 
  • Increased appetite 
  • Weight gain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headaches 
  • Dizziness
  • Nose and throat irritation (if you are using a nasal spray)
  • Shaking (tremors) or feeling shaky
  • Flatulence (gas)
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea

Some people use NRT for a long time to stop smoking. In such cases, side effects may include- 

  • Sore throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Cigarette cravings
  • Anxiety or depression

You can usually avoid most of these side effects by using the correct dose of NRT, and by taking it as directed. However, if you have any problems using nicotine replacement therapy, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest ways to manage these problems.

How does behavioral therapy help stop smoking?

Behavioral therapies for smoking cessation can be effective in helping people quit. They teach new behavior patterns and coping strategies to replace smoking when it is no longer an option.

The first-choice treatment for smoking cessation is medication combined with counseling or support groups such as Quitline. However, behavioral therapies can also be useful when you feel you need more support to get over nicotine addiction.

What are the benefits of behavioral therapy?

Behavioral therapies work on the premise you are more likely to succeed in quitting if you can change your behavior and thinking patterns around smoking. Moreover, they can assist you to-

  • Identify and deal with any triggers that make you want to smoke
  • Develop new, healthy behaviors to replace smoking
  • Manage stress and cravings
  • Deal with feelings of depression or anxiety
  • Set realistic goals and stick to them

Behavioral therapies may involve one-on-one counseling, group therapy, or self-help programs. The most effective therapies are those, which are tailored to your needs. Moreover, you can continue using after you stop smoking.

Several behavioral therapies are effective for smoking cessation, including-

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Problem-solving therapy
  • Behavioral self-management

What does Cold Turkey mean?

When you quit, nicotine withdrawal symptoms may start within a few hours. You can ease your physical symptoms by using nicotine replacement therapy. Its products include gum or skin patches. However, there is no immediate aid for the psychological symptoms of withdrawal cravings and smoking desires.

That is where cold turkey comes in. The term “cold turkey” comes from the days when the turkey was a frequent food eaten after someone had stopped drinking. The idea is that you are going cold turkey. It means you are going without anything.

How does Cold Turkey work?

When you stop smoking, your body misses the nicotine it was used to getting. However, at the same time, you are trying to break the habit of smoking. It can be a difficult combination to overcome.

Some people consider the finest method to control nicotine addiction is to just stop. It means going cold turkey. They may not have any nicotine replacement therapy. Moreover, they may not try to overcome the psychological cravings. They just tough it out and hope for the best.

What is Champix?

Champix is a prescription drug for quitting smoking. It works by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking. Champix is available as a tablet or a liquid. You can use the medication one or two times a day.

How does Champix work?

Champix hinders the impacts of nicotine in the brain. It is not clear how Champix works in the body to help people stop smoking. However, we do know that after you take this medication for a few weeks, your brain needs less and less nicotine. It happens because your brain gets used to the medication blocking its effects. This means that your urge to smoke may decrease and eventually go away.

What are the benefits of Champix?

There are many benefits to taking this treatment. Some of them include-

  • Decreased cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Improved mood
  • The diminished threat of heart disease and other health conditions
  • An improved sense of taste and smell
  • Improved breathing

Are there any side effects?

There is a range of frequent and less common side effects of this stop smoking treatment. However, they occur in more than 1 in 100 people. Before starting on this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have ever experienced any unusual or allergic reactions to medicines such as varenicline. It is the active ingredient in Champix or nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs).

Common side effects include-

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea

Less common side effects include-

  • Increased blood pressure, showing symptoms such as headaches, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and blurred vision
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Skin reactions, such as rash or itching

If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking Champix and speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

How do you take Champix?

Your doctor may have discussed the use of the directions of usage of this treatment. Follow them to avoid any complications. However, the following is also a brief view of Champix usage- 

  • Start taking this medication one to two weeks before you plan to stop smoking. It allows the medication time to build up in your system, which can help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms may hit people when they try to get over nicotine addiction.
  • Swallow the tablets whole with water. However, for the liquid form, shake well before each use and measure your dose using the dropper provided.
  • Take one Champix tablet or 2 ml of the liquid, once or twice a day for 12 weeks.
  • Do not exceed the prescribed dose.
  • Continue taking this medication for another 12 weeks. However, use it only if you are smoke-free after week 12. It may require further support such as counseling or therapy. 

Nevertheless, if you have any questions about taking Champix, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

How effective is Champix?

This treatment is one of the most effective medications quit. It has success rates of around 50-60%. This means that out of 100 people who take Champix, approximately 50 -60 of them will successfully stop smoking.

How can you find support for quitting smoking?

  • Look for a program

The best way to find support to quit is to join such a program or group. These programs offer encouragement, advice, and support from others who are trying to quit. Programs are available through hospitals, clinics, community centers, and health organizations. Nevertheless, you can also find information and support on the Internet.

  • Seek the help of your doctor

Another great way to get support is to talk to your doctor. He or she can help you find the best way for smoking cessation and provide advice and encouragement.

  • Talk with your family and friends

In addition, you may also want to tell your friends and family about your plans to control nicotine addiction. They can offer support and encouragement, too.

Whatever method you choose, make sure it fits your lifestyle and personality. The most significant thing is that you keep going with the plan. However, if you slip up and have a cigarette, do not give up. To stop smoking is not easy. Nevertheless, it is worth it!

What can you do at home to go without a cigarette?

There are multiple things you can do while going through the journey. However, some of them are-

  • Look for tranquility

In a quiet place with little distractions, sit down and think about why you want to give up this habit. Try writing your thoughts down on paper. Moreover, be clear and realistic about what you can expect from yourself in getting over nicotine addiction.

  • Compare the merits and demerits

Make a file of the advantages and drawbacks of quitting smoking. It can help you stay motivated during your struggle.

  • Prepare a personal plan

Create a personal quit plan. Itshould include setting a date to quit, strategies for dealing with cravings, and ways to distract yourself from cigarettes.

  • Throw all the addictive things out

Remove all cigarettes and tobacco products from your home, car, and office.

  • Spend time with your family and friends

Ask your family and friends to support you. They can do it by not smoking in front of you and offering encouragement.

  • Avoid triggers

Avoid situations where you are likely to smoke. They include bars and parties. It will lend you a hand to stop smoking

In addition to these helpful steps, other things you can look for are-

  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids.
  • Participate in activities that keep you busy, such as sports, exercise, or arts and crafts.
  • Stay positive and be patient with yourself. It takes time to give up smoking for good.

However, if you are unsuccessful in quitting smoking after several attempts, do not give up. Talk to your doctor about other strategies or therapies that may help. There are many ways to control nicotine addiction. Nevertheless, it is significant to find the method that works best for you.

There is no right or wrong way to go without a cigarette. For some people, cold turkey works. On the other hand, others need more help. It is vital to find what works best for you and stick with it. However, do not feel discouraged if you fail to stop smoking at the first time. Keep trying and keep going.  

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