How To Quit Smoking This Year: Drop the Cigarette Burden

stop smoking

Research shows that there are many ways to quit smoking, but only one way to start quitting; there must be that first admission of addiction. Addictions are not easy to deal with but they are impossible to deal with if they are never acknowledged. A great first step for any smoker who desires to stop is to admit that they are addicted and need to make some major life changes in order to be free from cigarettes.


How To Change the Smoking Lifestyle

Once the admission of addiction is made, then steps must be made to alter the living environment. Studies have shown that a reduction in the number of “smoking triggers,” things that are reminders of smoking, will result in a greater likelihood of success in quitting. Following are several steps to follow to help improve the smoker’s environment for quitting:

  1. Rearrange the most common smoking location so that it looks like a new place. Add a piece of furniture or take out an old piece.
  2. Throw away all smoking related paraphernalia in the home or workplace.
  3. Alter morning or afternoon schedules to accommodate for a life without smoke breaks.

Accountability Helps

Another important aspect of quitting smoking involves the people in the lives of the smoker. Some smokers find it advantageous to tell everyone in their lives that they are quitting. They should also state a specific date on which they will be quitting. This accountability makes a big difference when it comes to increasing the quitter’s motivation. When the smoker knows that everyone they told will be expecting them to quit, it makes it more difficult to think of facing their friends and family members having failed.

Don’t Be Too Hard On Your Smoking Self

What’s the worst thing that happens if the smoker falls back? They just have to start again. Maybe the methods that were used the first time around were not effective, but maybe the smoker just needs to go through the mental process of seeing themselves as a non-smoker more than once before it becomes a permanent fixture in their lives.

Tools for Quitting Smoking

There are many physiological aids to help the smoker kick the habit. From gum, to cigarette substitutes, to prescriptions, to patches, the smoker can find an aid that will work for them, but it may take a few tries.

The Quit Smoking Mantra

Keep trying! Don’t give up if the first attempt at being smoke-free fails. Commit to be a non-smoker in 2017 even if it takes until September or October to kick the habit. Decide that this will be the smoke-free year. Commit to be a non-smoker by Thanksgiving. If it takes one try or 15 tries, don’t give up

Ways to Quit Smoking Safely and Effectively: How to Stop Smoking, Handle Withdrawal and Safeguard Health

quit smoking

For many, a New Years resolution to quit smoking can be a path to a much healthier year, and a much longer life. But there are some dangers associated with quitting, including an increased risk of diabetes brought on by rapid weight gain, as found in a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Other potential health pitfalls when someone stops smoking include depression, stress and withdrawal symptoms.

Here are some ways to quit smoking safely and effectively:

Watch Your Weight after Quitting Smoking

Swift weight gain after quitting cigarettes has been linked to increased health risks, including the development of diabetes. Developing a healthy eating and exercise plan before quitting can help blunt the effects of increased appetite caused by stopping smoking. Those interested in stopping smoking should consult a doctor or nutritionist before quitting in order to make a plan for how to handle the potential weight gain.

How to Quit Smoking and Plan Ahead for Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

Nicotine is addictive, and withdrawal symptoms can hinder efforts to quit smoking. Quitters who plan ahead find it easier to deal with withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine replacement products, such as patches or gums, can help mitigate the physical withdrawal symptoms. For psychological difficulties in quitting, many try replacement activities, including exercising, taking a warm bath, chewing on a straw or immersing themselves in a distracting hobby like needlework.

Get Support to Stop Smoking

Support from family and friends can be invaluable when someone is trying to quit smoking, but those aren’t the only places to find support. Many cities and states have telephone programs to help people learn how to quit smoking. These programs use trained counselors to encourage and support the quitter and can give advice or answer questions about anything involved in the process of ending cigarette addiction.

Nicotene anonymous groups, which are modeled after alcoholics anonymous programs, are another place to find support for those trying to stop smoking.

Ways to Quit Smoking Include Nicotine Replacement Products and Other Stop Smoking Treatments

Nicotine replacement products can help reduce the cravings for cigarettes as well as fill some of the psychological need left when people give up smoking. These products come in a variety of forms, including gum, patches, inhalers, nicotine lozenges and nasal sprays.

Prescription medications to reduce nicotine cravings and help prevent mental symptoms include Bupropion, Varenicline and Nortriptyline.

Other methods and treatments people use to try stopping smoking include hypnosis, acupuncture, herbal remedies and electronic cigarettes.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 4% to 7% of people are able to quit smoking successfully without any help. But those who plan ahead and use a combination of physical and mental methods to help them quit have a much higher – and healthier – success rate.

Chantix – Will Verenicline Cure a Smoking Habit? Weigh the Risk Before Investing in Chantix for Smoking Cessation

smoking habit

Chantix is the trade name for the prescription drug varenicline, which stimulates the brain to produce dopamine and also blocks the receptors in the brain which are activated by nicotine. Varenicline a one-two punch providing both a replacement in terms of pleasure that is produced when smokers consume cigarettes and also as a deterrent by reducing the dopamine produced by cigarettes.


How Chantix Differs from Nicotine Therapy Replacement Products

Most of the older stop smoking products provided nicotine to the body (chewing gum, patches) and were designed to help smokers reduce cigarette consumption by simply providing an alternate form of nicotine consumption. Chantix, on the other hand, provides a different pleasure stimulation while blocking the “high” produced by nicotine.

How the Chantix Stop Smoking System Works

Smokers are required to visit a physician and get medical counseling and a prescription in order to purchase Chantix. It is not an over-the-counter stop smoking aid like nicotine gums and patches.

The Chantix program is designed to last 12 weeks, with lower doses initially as the smoker cuts back and then higher doses as the smoker weans off and gives up cigarettes. The pills are color coded, marking the shift from the beginning level of the stop smoking program to the maintenance level of the drug when the smoker should be cigarette free.

Chantix includes a behavior modification or support program. This includes automated daily phone calls and/or daily emails set up by the smoker. There are required or suggested activities such as logging all cigarettes smoked before starting the program and reporting any cigarette smoking during a given day. Again, automated messages are provided based on information provided by the smoker.

How Successful is the Chantix Stop Smoking Program?

Pfizer previously claimed a 44% success rate, but that was at the end of the 12 week stop smoking program. Those quit smoking studies were based on closely supervised clinical studies with intense therapy and with the exclusion of “harder to treat” smokers.

After the initial publicity campaign  touting extremely high success rates with Chantix and very little information provided on the negative side effects, Pfizer focused more on the 22% success rate noted at the one-year mark for those having completed the program and living a cigarette-free lifestyle.

Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?

The side effects of Chantix have been downplayed during the three years the product has been on the market. As with all drugs, there are side effects, with some individuals experiencing few if any problems and others having very serious issues with the use of varenicline.

One of the most serious side effects with Chantix has been depression, which may not sound major to many, but clinical depression can be deadly. The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began investigating in 2014 after 39 suicide deaths were attributed to the use of Chantix. In fact, at least two lawsuits are pending against Pfizer related to these unfortunate deaths.

In addition, mood changes and uncharacteristic behaviors are listed as possible side effects of Chantix as well as vivid, strange, and unsettling dreams or difficulties sleeping. Again, these side effects may often be seen as inconsequential but can be quite serious in some cases. Furthermore, Chantix users have reported aggression, anger, anxiety, nervousness and even “thoughts of hurting other people.”

Other side effects range from gas and increased appetite to tightness in the chest and peeling skin. Some users have even reported allergic reactions including swelling, hoariness, blistering, and seizures.

Chantix users may report these and any other reactions noted while using Chantix to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Still Want to Give Chantix a Try?

Some individuals have successfully stopped smoking using the Chantix program. It is a unique approach and one of only several products/programs aimed at helping smokers quit.

Anyone interested in trying Chantix needs to see a physician and get a prescription and also should research carefully and be aware of the possible side effects.

The average cost of the Chantix top smoking program is around $150 per month with some insurance companies covering all or part of the cost.