Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Overview

Zyban 150Mg Tablet

Zyban 150Mg Tablet

Manufacturer: Glaxo SmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Medicine composition: Bupropion
Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor required

Zyban 150Mg Tablet, is an antidepressant medication used to treat major depressive disorders and seasonal affective disorders. This also helps people to stop smoking by reducing cravings and other withdrawal effects. This can improve your mood and feelings of well-being by restoring the balance of certain natural neurotransmitters in your brain.

Zyban 150Mg Tablet, should not be taken in case you have allergies. The medication may contain inactive ingredients which may cause allergic reactions or other problems. Tell your doctor if you have any medical history of seizures or any brain related problems, eating disorders, anorexia nervosa, diabetes, heart issues or kidney problems. In case you have a family history of psychiatric disorders, this too should be reported to the doctor.

Zyban 150Mg Tablet, is an oral medicine to be taken from the mouth. You should not break, crush or chew the medication. Neither should you miss or increase the dosage. Too much of the medication may increase your risk of seizures.

Zyban 150Mg Tablet, may cause nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, headache, constipation, increased sweating, joint aches, sore throat, blurred vision, a strange taste in the mouth, diarrhoea, and dizziness. This may also increase your blood pressure.

smoking addiction
In addition to its intended effect, Zyban 150Mg Tablet may cause some unwanted effects too. In such cases, you must seek medical attention immediately. This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Please inform your doctor if you experience any adverse reaction to the medication.
Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
Impaired concentration
Headache
Altered taste
Agitation
Tremor.
Is It safe with alcohol?
Bulet 150mg tablet sr may cause excessive drowsiness and calmness with alcohol.
Are there any pregnancy warnings?
Bulet 150mg tablet sr may be unsafe to use during pregnancy.
Animal studies have shown adverse effects on the foetus, however, there are limited human studies. The benefits from use in pregnant women may be acceptable despite the risk. Please consult your doctor.
Are there any breast-feeding warnings?
Unknown. Human and animal studies are not available. Please consult your doctor.
Is it safe to drive while on this medicine?
Caution is advised when driving or operating machinery.
Does this affect kidney function?
Caution should be advised in patients with renal impairment.
Does this affect liver function?
There is no data available. Please consult doctor before consuming the drug.
Below is the list of medicines, which have the same composition, strength and form as Zyban 150Mg Tablet, and hence can be used as its substitute.
Are there any missed dose instructions?
If you miss a dose of Bupropion, skip it and continue with your normal schedule. Do not double the dose.
Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you're at risk of a drug interaction.
Interaction with Medicine
Rimarex 300Mg Capsule
EPTOIN 100MG TABLET
Serenace 5Mg Injection 1Ml
Epsolin 50Mg/2Ml Injection

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi sir I have to quit smoking. I am a chain smoker but now I have breathing problems so I want to quit any suggestion or medicine.

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry, MBA (Healthcare)
Psychiatrist, Davanagere
Hi there, I am very glad for your question. I appreciate that you got the courage to have your question answered on a public forum. Start your stop smoking plan with start s = set a quit date. Choose a date within the next two weeks, so you have enough time to prepare without losing your motivation to quit. If you mainly smoke at work, quit on the weekend, so you have a few days to adjust to the change. T = tell family, friends, and co-workers that you plan to quit. Let your friends and family in on your plan to quit smoking and tell them you need their support and encouragement to stop. Look for a quit buddy who wants to stop smoking as well. You can help each other get through the rough times. A = anticipate and plan for the challenges you'll face while quitting. Most people who begin smoking again do so within the first three months. You can help yourself make it through by preparing ahead for common challenges, such as nicotine withdrawal and cigarette cravings. R = remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car, and work. Throw away all of your cigarettes (no emergency pack!), lighters, ashtrays, and matches. Wash your clothes and freshen up anything that smells like smoke. Shampoo your car, clean your drapes and carpet, and steam your furniture. T = talk to your doctor about getting help to quit. Your doctor can prescribe medication to help with withdrawal and suggest other alternatives. If you can't see a doctor, you can get many products over the counter at your local pharmacy or grocery store, including the nicotine patch, nicotine lozenges, and nicotine gum. Medications to help you stop smoking smoking cessation medications can ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings, and are most effective when used as part of a comprehensive stop smoking program monitored by your physician. Talk to your doctor about your options and whether an anti-smoking medication is right for you. U. S. Food and drug administration (fda) approved options are: nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine replacement therapy involves" replacing" cigarettes with other nicotine substitutes, such as nicotine gum or a nicotine patch. It works by delivering small and steady doses of nicotine into the body to relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms without the tars and poisonous gases found in cigarettes. This type of treatment helps smokers focus on breaking their psychological addiction and makes it easier to concentrate on learning new behaviors and coping skills. Non-nicotine medication. These medications help you stop smoking by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms without the use of nicotine. Medications such as bupropion (zyban) and varenicline (chantix) are intended for short-term use only. I hope this helps. I wish you a very quick and speedy recovery.
1 person found this helpful

How can I quit smoking. I have tried over the time but could not control with myself.

DNB, DPM, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Delhi
All patients should be assessed for (1) smoking status, (2) motivation to quit, and (3) motivators for and barriers to quitting. Smoking status includes current smoker, ex-smoker, or never-smoker; type of tobacco used; and frequency of use. In terms of motivation to quit, smokers can be classified as immotives (no plans to quit), precontemplators (plan to quit but not in the next 6 months), contemplators (plan to quit in the next 6 months), and preparers (plan to quit in the next month). Common motivators to quit are health concerns, effects of smoking on others, and social pressure. Treatments for smoking -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- psychosocial therapy behavior therapy social support pharmacological therapies bupropion (zyban) nicotine replacement therapy second-line pharmacological therapies read this well.
6 people found this helpful

If i am smoking cigratte so swine flu will harm me or not! because some where i had read that while smoking the person can save himself from swine flu !

MD-PhD, FIPS, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE), DPM, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Ludhiana
No. Stop smoking Dr. Aravinda jawali pharmacological treatments to help quit smoking why is it so hard to quit smoking? you have probably heard this before" smoking is so bad for you. Why do you do it" people start smoking for different reasons. They might think it will help calm their nerves, make them look more mature, or maybe at the time it just seemed sort of adventurous. Looking back, it was not the best choice. Many people really want to quit, but why is quitting so hard? it is hard to quit smoking because the nicotine in cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products gets you hooked and keeps you hooked. Most people try as many as three times to quit before they are able to do so. Look at smoking cessation as a process instead of a one-time event. That way, if you do slip, you can focus on what you can do differently to prevent future slips and relapse. Don? t give up? you will get there. You have probably heard a lot about how smoking is harmful, but here are some positive things you can look forward to when you do quit. If you quit, you will: prolong your life improve your health feel healthier (smoking can cause coughing, poor athletic ability, and sore throats.) look better (smoking can cause face wrinkles, stained teeth, and dull skin.) improve your sense of taste and smell save money (most smokers spend about $90 a month on cigarettes.) smoking increases complications for those who have diabetes. While smoking can increase your chances of getting diabetes, it can also make managing diabetes more difficult for those who already have it. Smoking-related complications of diabetes could include retinopathy (eye disease), heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and/or foot problems. What options do people have? some people try quitting on their own before they go to their doctor, but your doctor can be very helpful. He or she may offer tips and suggest medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, to help you" kick the habit" it is also important to tell your doctor what types of products you might use or are using to quit smoking. The doctor can make sure that suggested products will not interact with other medicines you are already taking. Remember, there is no" magic bullet" when it comes to quitting smoking. Quitting requires persistent effort. Over-the-counter medicines nicotine-based medicines over-the-counter medicines that contain nicotine can be very helpful in fighting off cravings. These products will not remove all cravings, but you can use them instead of smoking to reduce your nicotine intake gradually and ease off of its addictive effects. When you give your body a steady dose of nicotine all the time and then stop suddenly, you will have more side effects (withdrawal symptoms) that usually make quitting a lot harder. Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, headache, and the craving to smoke. Go slow and lower the dose gradually with nicotine-based products until you feel you are able to resist the cravings on your own. You will still have cravings, but they will be weaker. It is very important to have some form of social support when you decide to quit, no matter if you use products or not. Support can come from your doctor, counselor, support group, close friend, or a family member. When considering a nicotine-based product to help you quit, be sure to tell your doctor about any conditions you might have, especially: asthma or breathing problems heart or blood vessel disease high blood pressure stomach ulcer diabetes mellitus kidney disease liver disease overactive thyroid pheochromocytoma (pcc) over-the-counter treatments are typically used for up to 12 weeks as part of a smoking cessation program. Additional things to consider when taking nicotine-based medicines do not smoke while you are using the nicotine-based medicines. You could risk overdosing on nicotine. Tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking or any allergies you have. Do not use the nicotine-based medicines if you are breastfeeding, are pregnant, or think you might be pregnant. Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children and pets. Common brand names of the nicotine patch, gum, and lozenge include: nicorelief (gum) nicorette (gum) nicoderm cq (patch) commit (lozenge) transdermal nicotine patch the patch is worn directly on the skin. Nicotine passes through the skin into your bloodstream. Some brands have patches with different strengths so you can gradually reduce your dosage. Nicotine patches are available without a prescription. If you are not sure what kind of patch to use, ask your doctor. Always follow the instructions on the box, but here are some things to remember when using the nicotine patch: patches are supplied in child-resistant pouches; save the pouch for disposal of the patch. Find a clean, dry part of the skin to apply it. Somewhere on your upper arm or torso usually works best. Try to find an area that has little hair and is without scars, cuts, burns, or rashes. Right before applying the patch, wash your hands and the skin area with plain soap and water and dry completely. Avoid using any soap, lotion, hand cream, tanning lotion or oil, bath oil or insect repellent that contains aloe, lanolin or glycerin as a moisturizer since these agents can leave a moisturizing film on your skin, which can potentially interfere with the adherence of the patch. When you have finished applying or removing the patch, wash your hands with water only. Do not try to adjust the dosage by cutting the patch into sections. Leave the patch on, even while bathing or swimming. If it falls off, do not try to re-apply it. Use a new one remove the patch according to the instructions on the box (usually after 16 to 24 hours). Dispose by folding sticky ends of the patch together and putting in pouch. When applying a new patch, choose a different place than before. Do not use the patch in the same place for at least a week. Do not leave the patch on for longer than directed. Remove the patch if you are going to do rigorous exercise. This might cause more nicotine to pass into your bloodstream. If you are unsure how to use the product, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain. Remove the patch if you are having a magnetic resonance imaging (mri) scan. Nicotine patches contain aluminum. If you have vivid dreams or other sleep disturbances, try removing the patch at bedtime and applying a new one in the morning. Common side effects of the nicotine patch: increased appetite mild headache irritation at the site of the patch, including itching, burning, or redness there are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the information that comes with the product carefully, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions. Nicotine gum nicotine gum, like the patch, is a systemic way to receive nicotine. This means that the nicotine in the gum passes from the lining of your mouth right into your bloodstream. Like the patch, you will decrease the dosage during the recommended time (usually 12 weeks or sooner) if you are able to resist cravings on your own. Nicotine gum is sold without a prescription. Always follow the instructions on the box, but here are some things to remember when using nicotine gum: use nicotine gum only when you feel the urge to smoke. Slowly chew the gum until you begin to taste it or feel a tingling sensation in your mouth. Then stop chewing and park it between your cheek and gum. This helps release the nicotine. When the taste or tingling is almost gone, repeat these two steps for 30 minutes. Use only one piece at a time. Do not drink beverages (e. G, soft drinks, tea, coffee, and fruit juices) or eat food 15 minutes before or while chewing the gum. Gradually decrease the number of pieces of gum you chew per day, until you reach three to six pieces per day. Some people can do this in less than 12 weeks. Do not chew more than twenty-four pieces in 1 day. Try to have the nicotine gum handy at all times. You might try hard candy or using regular gum, if the nicotine gum is not available. Nicotine gum can be difficult to use if you have dentures. Common side effects of nicotine gum: belching (burping), gas, or heartburn increased appetite mild headache watery mouth jaw or muscle pain or fatigue sore mouth or throat nausea hiccups there are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the information that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions. Nicotine lozenge a nicotine lozenge, like the patch and gum, is a systemic way to receive nicotine. This means that the nicotine in the lozenge passes from the lining of your mouth right into your bloodstream. Always follow the instructions on the box, but here are a few things to remember when using the nicotine lozenges: place the lozenge in your mouth; wait until it dissolves completely; and move it around from time to time without chewing. It takes around 20 to 30 minutes to dissolve. Do not take more than one lozenge at a time or continuously use one lozenge after the other, this can cause hiccups, heartburn, or nausea. Do not eat or drink 15 minutes prior to, during, or after use. Do not use more than five lozenges in 6 hours or more than twenty lozenges in 24 hours. Prescription medicines nicotine nasal spray nicotine that can help you stop smoking also comes in the form of a nasal spray, available only by prescription. Like the patch and the gum, the amount taken is gradually decreased during a period of 12 weeks. It is to be used, like the gum and the patch, as part of a program that also includes support, education, and counseling. Nicotrol ns is one brand of nicotine nasal spray. Always follow the instructions on the prescription label. Here are some other things to remember when using nicotine nasal spray: blow your nose prior to use. You may gradually reduce your dose of nasal spray by skipping doses or using only half the usual amount. Writing down the time you take the nasal spray and how much you take might be very useful when reducing your dose. Common side effects of nicotine nasal spray: back pain constipation coughing indigestion or nausea runny nose sneezing watery eyes headache a burning feeling in the back of the throat or nose the nicotine nasal spray is not recommended for people with reactive airway disorders such as asthma. In addition, caution is urged in patients with chronic nasal disorders. There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the information that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions. Nicotine inhalant a nicotine inhalant? available only by prescription? used for up to 6 months (initial treatment period up to 12 weeks followed by gradual reduction period of up to 12 weeks) can be part of a smoking cessation program. When the inhaler is used, nicotine passes from the lining of the mouth and throat (not the lungs) into the bloodstream. Like other nicotine products, you will decrease the dosage during the recommended time (usually several weeks) or until you are able to resist cravings on your own. Nicotrol inhaler is one brand name of nicotine inhalant. Always follow the instructions on the box, but here are some things to remember when using a nicotine inhalant: store the inhaler in a dry area at room temperature not to exceed 77 f or 25 c. Write down the time you take the inhalant and how much you take. This might be very useful when reducing your dose. The normal first dose is between six and sixteen cartridges per day. Common side effects of nicotine inhalants: coughing indigestion mouth and throat irritation stuffy nose or runny nose there are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the information that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions. Bupropion bupropion is more commonly seen under the brand names of zyban or wellbutrin. Zyban is specifically indicated for smoking cessation. It is not a nicotine-based medicine; it is an antidepressant that is only available by prescription. It is prescribed along with counseling and support to aid in smoking cessation. Bupropion might also be used to treat major depressive disorders. It usually takes 2 weeks for bupropion to take effect, so plan to quit smoking 2 weeks after beginning the treatment. Before considering bupropion, be sure to inform your physician if you have a history of seizure disorder, bulimia, or anorexia nervosa. Bupropion comes in tablets that are to be swallowed whole, not crushed, divided, or altered in any other way. Individual prescription strengths might vary, so if you are taking bupropion, be sure to follow the directions on the label. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you have about how to take it, when to take it, any potential side effects, and the duration of treatment. Common side effects of bupropion: dry mouth sweating insomnia rash headache dizziness anxiety restlessness irritability indigestion decreased appetite there are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the medication guide that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions. Do not take bupropion if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (maoi) within the last 14 days. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are used to treat depression. Some examples include: tranylcypromine (parnate), phenelzine (nardil), and isocarboxazid (marplan). There are several products that might interact with bupropion, so be sure to tell your doctor about any over-the-counter and/or prescription medicines, as well as any herbal supplements you are taking. While taking bupropion, immediately report any psychological changes (e. G, new onset depression) to your doctor. Varenicline (chantix) varenicline, also known by the brand name chantix, is a prescription medication that does not contain nicotine. This medicine helps to reduce the reinforcing effects of nicotine and can minimize the withdrawal effects from nicotine. It is recommended to set a quit date 1 week after initiation of varenicline therapy. Typically, this medication is taken for a minimum of 12 weeks accompanied by smoking cessation counseling. If you have stopped smoking, another 12 weeks of varenicline might be prescribed. If you have not stopped smoking after the first 12 weeks, stop taking this medication and return to your doctor for advice. Varenicline should be taken with food and a full glass (8 ounces) of water. Varenicline can interact with over-the-counter and prescription medicines especially insulin, blood thinners, and asthma medications as well as with certain herbal supplements; therefore, it would be important to inform your physician of your entire medication regimen. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any psychological changes (e. G, new onset depression) while taking varenicline. Common side effects of varenicline: nausea, which may dissipate over time headache insomnia there are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the medication guide that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions. How could research benefit smokers who want to quit? researchers are testing a vaccine that could make quitting a lot less difficult. This type of treatment could potentially be used in a program, along with bupropion (zyban) and counseling, to significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms.

I want to clear my lungs from tar and nicotine I am smoking cigarette from 1 year please help me.

MBBS, DPM
Psychiatrist, Bangalore
Dear Govind, Congratulations for planning to clear your lungs. The only way is quitting smoking. Since you are smoking only 1 year, comparatively it is easier to quit now than later. Nicotine stays in your lungs only for few hours. That is why you feel the need to smoke again. You also get withdrawal symptoms if you quit. But the tar which is deposited in the lungs can not be removed at all. Plan not to add more of tar by quitting smoking. If withdrawal is a problem, please take the help of nicotine replacement gum or lozenges or Bupropion tablets for 12 weeks or so.

I am suffering from depression and from Medical profession only. With so many pending aims in life. But life seems got stuck because of depression. The most prominent symptom is non refreshing and non restorative sleep. I am taking bupropion 300 mg. Daily from last 1 years it has helped me a lot but still I am not able to sleep properly which results in foggy next day with poor concentration, lethargic i am not taking any sleeping pills regularly. But whenever I take zolfresh 5 mg in night next morning I feel so refreshed nd I need not to worry about the tasks which I have to handle. Without zolfresh its impossible to carry out all the taks. Now my concern is If I take zolfresh 5 mg daily. For long time. Will it make me to become dependent on it. If I take it for long time. Any permanent effects. Now my concern is shall I go with zolfresh or not?

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Mumbai
I am suffering from depression and from Medical profession only. With so many pending aims in life. But life seems go...
If you are taking these medications on your own, it is advised that you consult a Psychiatrist who will assess you in detail and prescribe medication as per your symptoms. Self medication does more harm than good, and without proper knowledge or understanding of the medications, you are likely to end up worse off. If you are taking these medications on advice of a Psychiatrist, talk to them about your current symptoms and they will make changes in your medication to make you more comfortable. Do not experiment on yourself, the results can be disastrous.

Popular Health Tips

Quit Smoking

MBBS, DPM (Psychiatry)
Psychiatrist, Thrissur

QUIT SMOKING...YOU CAN DO IT

MOST IMPORTANT, know this —YOU CAN DO IT..

If you have tried to quit smoking and failed before, take comfort in the fact that most smokers fail several times before quitting successfully. Your past failures are not a lesson that you are unable to quit. Instead, view them as part of the normal journey toward becoming a nonsmoker.
The information below will ease your way and help insure that this is the last time you ever need to go through the quitting process. You can do it!
Please wait a few moments while this page loads. You may wish to print it out.
 

QUITTING TIPS
The most important step to take is the first step --admitting you have an addiction.
When asked why you smoke, you might have said, "I just like to smoke!" or "It's my choice to smoke."
The tobacco companies have promoted the idea that smoking is a matter of personal choice. As I see it, there really isn't as much choice as they have suggested to their customers.
Ask yourself, and be totally honest: Am I addicted to tobacco? Am I truly making a freely made choice when I smoke?
You might consider that you need to have a cigarette. Studies have shown that nicotine addiction is as hard to break as heroin or cocaine addiction.
In Nicotine Anonymous' 12 Step program, which sprang from the venerable Alcoholics Anonymous program, the first step is admitting to yourself, "I'm powerless over tobacco." Making this admission may seem trivial to you, but for many it is a very significant part of completing the journey to becoming a non-smoker.
By telling smokers that smoking is a personal choice, the tobacco industry has helped to keep its customers in denial about the true extent of their addiction. If smoking is a choice, then what's the rush to quit? The tobacco companies have used this spin to help keep millions of customers buying their deadly products.
Admitting that you're smoking more out of addiction than choice will help motivate you to go on to the next steps -- taking control of yourself and becoming a nonsmoker.
This admission will further serve you by helping you stay smoke free later. In the months and years after you quit, when temptations to smoke occasionally overpower you -- and they will -- remind yourself, "I have an addiction and I'm powerless over tobacco." Saying this to yourself in overwhelmed moments of desire will help give you the strength to say no to "just one" cigarette.
If you can make it for just five minutes without giving in, the urge to smoke be controllable or disappear. In this way, you'll be able to stay smokefree for life.
For me there were two very distinct and EQUALLY IMPORTANT phases to quitting:
Phase One — Quitting with helpPhase Two — Staying smokefree and not relapsing
Phase One:Quitting with help
When quitting, people who are the most successful at living life typically get help, and plenty of it.
For example, they might read up on how to prevent illness, and go to the doctor when sick. In business, a businessperson will get a lawyer to write the contracts, a marketing firm to do the marketing, an ad agency to create the ads, an accountant to do the accounting – and so on. The fact is that people who are successful in life get help. Real men ask directions!
Sadly, eighty percent of smokers who quit do so without being in any program – and studies show that 95% of these self-reliant quitters fail, and go right back to smoking. It's the same rate of recidivism as with heroin. With a 95% chance of failure without a program, you may wish to consider getting some help this time around.
For those who have repeatedly failed at quitting in the past, it's comforting to learn that most smokers in fact fail several times before stopping successfully. Your past failures are not a lesson that you are unable to quit. Instead, they are part of the normal journey toward becoming a nonsmoker.
I certainly failed -- 11 times. Every time I failed, I lost a little more faith that I could really quit. So each time I quit, it got harder and harder to motivate myself to set a date. I had begun to feel it was hopeless.
My mission here is to restore your faith in yourself. You CAN quit. Even if you've failed several times in the past, understand that this is normal. You're not alone.
You need to get your resolve up, and try again. YOU CAN DO IT!
Get help -- lots of it. Get into a good program, or better yet, a combination of more than one.
Call your local branch of the American Cancer Society, or the American Lung or Heart Associations. All have inexpensive and effective, mainstream programs.
Other top of the line, physician-endorsed methods: nicotine replacement and Zyban. The nicotine patch or gum are now available over-the-counter at any pharmacy. The anti-depressant Zyban and nicotine inhaler require a prescription.
The Schick-Shadel Treatment Centers offer aversion therapy -- self-administering a mild electric shock from an ordinary 9 volt battery as one smokes a cigarette. They claim a 95% initial success rate, and 50% after a year. I used this therapy successfully, and will come back to this later.
Buy a How to Quit Smoking Book, or a motivational cassette tape program in a bookstore, and listen to the tapes in your car. Every little bit helps!
In addition, visit our Quitlinks page, for to see the results of recent studies on which quit products work best.
Talk to a live human being free
Call 1-800-QUIT NOW for free support with a trained counselor, who will talk to you whether you are ready to quit or just thinking about it. This number will forward to your State's tobacco cessation program, which offers live phone support in your area. When you call, a friendly staff person will offer a choice of free services, including self-help materials, a referral list of other programs in your community, and one-one-counseling over the phone.
There is also the National Cancer Institute's Smoking Quitline, 1-877-44U-Quit, offering proactive counseling by trained personnel.
Try a free meeting
If joining a small group of other quitters appeals to you, then try a Nicotine Anonymous meeting. It's likely there's one near you where you live. It's a 12-step program based on AA; they're nonprofit and free. Ask directory assistance to get the number for a local Nicotine Anonymous chapter, or call the national line at (800) 642-0666. You can also check their website. (A for-profit company trademarked "Smokers' Anonymous" -- so you want the FREE program -- Nicotine Anonymous).
Don't count on any of these programs to make it a breeze. None of them will do that -- but they WILL reduce your distress by 15% to 50%, depending on how addicted you are psychologically, vs. physically.
I'm not promising it will be easy -- it won't. So get your resolve and willpower up, because you'll need it! And you CAN do it.
Don't ask, "Does this program work?" Rather, ask yourself, "Am I willing to DO the work?" You know how to work, don't you? I'm betting that you do.
I come from a wealthy background, and at one point it occurred to me that wealthy folks may have a much harder time quitting smoking, alcohol, or even dieting -- because they're used to getting whatever they want, whenever they want it. If you count yourself among this group, you might wish to consider an inpatient treatment center. You'd reside in a hospital for up to a week with a group of other people who are also quitting.
A Note About Tobacco Ads
Many teens, if asked, would say that tobacco ads have no influence over them. However, new studies tell us that advertising plays a greater role than even peer pressure in getting teens to smoke.
And one recent study shows that the three most heavily advertised brands are the same three brands most often smoked by teens -- Camels, Marlboros and Newport. It's no accident. Cigarette ads clearly influence our teens. Tobacco ads may not influence your conscious mind -- but they do influence the unconscious mind.
Your Unconscious Mind
What is the unconscious mind? In a famous study, the Russian scientist Pavlov rang a bell every time he fed his dog -- and eventually the dog would salivate just on hearing the bell -- even though there was no food there. The dog had made an unconscious association between the ringing and dinner, and began to drool!
Cigarette ads reach our unconscious minds. These ads create an unconscious association between the addiction of cigarettes and strong, positive images of attractive, healthy people, sports like tennis or mountain climbing, beautiful country scenes, cowboys gathered around a campfire or on horseback, masculinity and manhood, being feminine and womanhood, being a 'real person,' and so on. As of 2000, the tobacco industry has been spending over $5 billion annually to advertise its deadly products. That's a lot of bell ringing! And it's not lost on our kids.
The smoker's unconscious mind also makes repeated pleasant associations with the act of smoking -- watching the smoke slowly curling, putting a cigarette to the lips, languidly inhaling and exhaling, absently handling a cigarette -- all these are very much a part of the psychological addiction to tobacco. Quitters often feel as though they are losing a best friend.

For most addicted smokers, the addition is about half mental, half physical. Studies show that the ratio varies with each individual. The physical portion of the addiction is to nicotine. As to the mental or psychological aspect, a smoker's conscious mind says, 'I will stop smoking -- no problem.' But the unconscious mind has been conditioned for years that cigarettes give pleasure, and that's all it can focus on. The unconscious mind says, 'Gimmie a cigarette -- now!' It only recognizes what feels good. It demands a cigarette, without regard to right or wrong, and ignores the conscious mind's intentions. Aversion therapy is one way to help counteract this.

During the process of quitting, the new habit of being a nonsmoker forms. The ex-smoker's unconscious mind gradually gets used to being a nonsmoker, as the urges to smoke slowly fade away.
The Boilerplate Points

Do your best to follow as many of these as you can. The points below are advocated by most of today's credible quit-smoking products and programs. They are widely accepted as an essential and necessary part of quitting successfully. Just using the patch or Zyban without following the points below will hinder your chances to quit for good this time.

DEEP BREATHING PERHAPS THE SINGLE MOST POWERFUL AND IMPORTANT TECHNIQUE Every time you want a cigarette, do the following. Do it three times. Inhale the deepest lung-full of air you can, and then, very slowly, exhale. Purse your lips so that the air must come out slowly.As you exhale, close your eyes, and let your chin gradually sink over onto your chest. Visualize all the tension leaving your body, slowly draining out of your fingers and toes, just flowing on out. This is a variation of an ancient yoga technique from India, and is VERY centering and relaxing. If you practice this, you'll be able to use it for any future stressful situation you find yourself in. And it will be your greatest weapon during the strong cravings sure to assault you over the first few days. This deep breathing technique will be a vital help to you. Reread this point now, and as you do, try it for the first time. Inhale and exhale three times. See for yourself!

The first few days, drink LOTS of water and fluids to help flush out the nicotine and other poisons from your body.
Remember that the urge to smoke only lasts a few minutes, and will then pass. The urges gradually become farther and farther apart as the days go by.
Do your very best to stay away from alcohol, sugar and coffee the first week or longer, as these tend to stimulate the desire for a cigarette. Avoid fatty foods, as your metabolism will slow down a bit without the nicotine, and you may gain weight even if you eat the same amount as before quitting. So discipline about diet is extra important now. No one ever said acquiring new habits would be easy!
Nibble on low calorie foods like celery, apples and carrots. Chew gum or suck on cinnamon sticks.
Stretch out your meals; eat slowly and wait a bit between bites.
After dinner, instead of a cigarette, treat yourself to a cup of mint tea or a peppermint candy.

In one study, about 25% of quitters found that an oral substitute was invaluable. Another 25% didn't like the idea at all -- they wanted a clean break with cigarettes. The rest weren't certain. Personally, I found a cigarette substitute to be a tremendous help. The nicotine inhaler (by prescription) is one way to go: it's a shortened plastic cigarette, with a replaceable nicotine capsule inside.

A simpler way to go is bottled cinnamon sticks, available at any supermarket. I used these every time I quit, and they really helped me. I would chew on them, inhale air through them, and handle them like cigarettes. After a while, they would get pretty chewed up on one end -- but I'd laugh, reverse them and chew on the other end. Others may prefer to start a fresh stick. Once someone asked me, "Excuse me, but is that an exploded firecracker in your mouth?" I replied that I was quitting smoking – and they smiled and became supportive. Luckily, I never needed the cinnamon sticks after the first three days of being a nonsmoker.
Go to a gym, sit in the steam, exercise. Change your normal routine – take time to walk or even jog around the block or in a local park.
Look in the yellow pages under Yoga, and take a class – they're GREAT! Get a one hour massage, take a long bath -- pamper yourself.
Ask for support from coworkers, friends and family members. Ask for their tolerance. Let them know you're quitting, and that you might be edgy or grumpy for a few days. If you don't ask for support, you certainly won't get any. If you do, you'll be surprised how much it can help. Take a chance -- try it and see!
Ask friends and family members not to smoke in your presence. Don't be afraid to ask. This is more important than you may realize.
On your quit day, hide all ashtrays and destroy all your cigarettes, preferably with water, so no part of them is smokeable.
To talk to a live human being, call the National Cancer Institute's free Smoking Quitline, 1-877-44U-Quit. Proactive counseling services by trained personnel will be provided in sessions both before and after quitting smoking.

At Nicotine Anonymous meetings, you'll find warm bodies, which can be more comforting than a computer screen. If this appeals to you more, pick up your telephone and ask directory assistance for the phone number of your local chapter. These are based on the classic 12-steps, borrowed from AA. The meetings are free and run entirely by volunteers. If there are no meetings in your city, try calling (800) 642-0666, or check the website. There you can also find out how to start your own meeting. That's how it spread all over the U.S. Support groups like Nicotine Anonymous might initially seem unnecessary -- but they provide a GREAT outlet to vent verbally. This could help spare your family and friends much grumpiness. It's truly therapeutic to see how other quitters are doing in their own struggles to stop.

Write down ten good things about being a nonsmoker -- and then write out ten bad things about smoking. Do it. It really helps.
Don't pretend smoking wasn't enjoyable – it was. This is like losing a good friend – and it's okay to grieve the loss. Feel that grief, don't worry, it's okay. Feel, and you heal. Stay with it -- you can do it!
Several times a day, quietly repeat to yourself the affirmation, "I am a nonsmoker." Many quitters see themselves as smokers who are just not smoking for the moment. They have a self-image as smokers who still want a cigarette. Silently repeating the affirmation "I am a nonsmoker" will help you change your view of yourself, and, even if it may seem silly to you, this is actually useful. Use it!
Here is perhaps the most valuable information among these points. In Phase 2, the period which begins a few weeks after quitting, the urges to smoke will subside considerably. However, it's vital to understand that from time to time, you will still be suddenly overwhelmed with a desire for "just one cigarette." This will happen unexpectedly, during moments of stress, whether negative stress or positive (at a party, or on vacation). If you are unprepared to resist, succumbing to that "one cigarette" will lead you directly back to smoking. Remember the following secret: in these surprise attacks during Phase 2 -- and they will definitely come -- do your deep breathing, and hold on for five minutes, and the urge will pass.
In conclusion, get the info and support you need to make the stopping process a little easier. DO NOT try to go it alone. Get help, and plenty of it.

Go cold turkey, or gradually cut down?
This is a personal choice. Do whichever you think will work best for you. Smokenders is a gradual quit program. But I wasn't one of those who could quit by slowly cutting down – although that works best for some. I always went cold turkey.
I'd always quit on a Monday -- a regular workday, when work would occupy my thoughts. My usual routine tasks were familiar and helped get me through the first few difficult days, which were always the most difficult part for me.
Once I tried quitting during a vacation. I found there was little to do, except to obsess all day long over having a smoke. I failed that time. The positive stress of being on vacation actually added to my stress in quitting. More about positive stress in the crucially important section which now follows. Do read on!
Phase TwoStaying smokefree and not relapsing
Here is the most valuable secret I can share with you, and probably the most important information on this page.
After the urges to smoke have become more and more infrequent, overwhelming surprise attacks are sure to come, a few weeks and months into your new smokefree life.
When these nearly out-of-control urges came (and they always engulfed me in unexpected moments), I learned that if I did my deep breathing (see above), and if I could just HOLD ON for 5 minutes -- the overpowering urge to smoke would completely pass.
That is by far the single most important thing I learned -- the hard way -- about how to quit successfully.
Because I didn't know this, I failed 11 times. I finally stopped for good on my 12th try, in Spring 1985. It's the key to what has empowered me to stay smokefree for the past dozen years or so.
So know that out-of-control, very nearly irresistible urges to have "just one" are going to take you by surprise, like a sudden gale that seems to come from nowhere. This will happen one or more times in the coming months.
Every time it does, do your deep breathing (see above), hold on for 5 minutes -- you can do it -- and the urge will completely pass.
I'm convinced that this is the single most important secret to quitting for life.

A NOTE TO NONSMOKERS If you live with a smoker, or are close friends with one: don't be a NAG about their smoking habit! (You can make noise about their smoking in the house or near you, because their second hand smoke hurts you – but don't nag them to quit. There's a BIG difference!)
Just three times a year you can ask your loved one – briefly – VERY briefly – to please quit smoking -- in VERY loving and warm tones. (Try surrounding your request with HONEST complements, keep it BRIEF, and they might be more open to hearing you.
But if you speak up more than three times per YEAR, then you're a yukky, obnoxious NAG. Ick! And your beloved smoker will be so ANGRY with you that they'll keep smoking just to spite you. You'll be defeating your very purpose.
I ask nonsmokers to honor their smoking loved ones, and treat them like adults.
And if your loved ones are nagging you, don't fall into the old trap of hurting yourself by continuing to smoke out of your anger toward them. Instead, let them know how you feel.
.
Sometimes, life is painful. It's supposed to be that way. All of us are faced with grief, loss and struggle. And it's by our struggles that we define and strengthen our character.
In my live talks and video for youth, I revive the ancient practice of initiation. As I initiate them into life, I let teens know that sometimes life will be painful.
"And when those moments come, you need to take the ADULT path," I tell the students, "and stay with the difficulty -- and not go lighting a cigarette, raiding the icebox, taking drugs, blasting music or switching on the TV -- or, going to work for too many long hours. All these are just ways of avoiding painful feelings and numbing them out."
If you stay with your pain, you'll begin to see what's causing it. And when you're ready, you can take a step to solve the problem.

Stay Healthy

MBBS, DPM (Psychiatry)
Psychiatrist, Thrissur
Stay Healthy

If you have tried to quit smoking and failed before, take comfort in the fact that most smokers fail several times before quitting successfully. Your past failures are not a lesson that you are unable to quit. Instead, view them as part of the normal journey toward becoming a nonsmoker.
The information below will ease your way and help insure that this is the last time you ever need to go through the quitting process. You can do it!
Please wait a few moments while this page loads. You may wish to print it out.

QUITTING TIPS
The most important step to take is the first step --admitting you have an addiction.
When asked why you smoke, you might have said, "I just like to smoke!" or "It's my choice to smoke."
The tobacco companies have promoted the idea that smoking is a matter of personal choice. As I see it, there really isn't as much choice as they have suggested to their customers.
Ask yourself, and be totally honest: Am I addicted to tobacco? Am I truly making a freely made choice when I smoke?
You might consider that you need to have a cigarette. Studies have shown that nicotine addiction is as hard to break as heroin or cocaine addiction.
In Nicotine Anonymous' 12 Step program, which sprang from the venerable Alcoholics Anonymous program, the first step is admitting to yourself, "I'm powerless over tobacco." Making this admission may seem trivial to you, but for many it is a very significant part of completing the journey to becoming a non-smoker.
By telling smokers that smoking is a personal choice, the tobacco industry has helped to keep its customers in denial about the true extent of their addiction. If smoking is a choice, then what's the rush to quit? The tobacco companies have used this spin to help keep millions of customers buying their deadly products.
Admitting that you're smoking more out of addiction than choice will help motivate you to go on to the next steps -- taking control of yourself and becoming a nonsmoker.
This admission will further serve you by helping you stay smoke free later. In the months and years after you quit, when temptations to smoke occasionally overpower you -- and they will -- remind yourself, "I have an addiction and I'm powerless over tobacco." Saying this to yourself in overwhelmed moments of desire will help give you the strength to say no to "just one" cigarette.
If you can make it for just five minutes without giving in, the urge to smoke be controllable or disappear. In this way, you'll be able to stay smokefree for life.
For me there were two very distinct and EQUALLY IMPORTANT phases to quitting:
Phase One — Quitting with help Phase Two — Staying smoke free and not relapsing

Phase One:Quitting with help
When quitting, people who are the most successful at living life typically get help, and plenty of it.
For example, they might read up on how to prevent illness, and go to the doctor when sick. In business, a businessperson will get a lawyer to write the contracts, a marketing firm to do the marketing, an ad agency to create the ads, an accountant to do the accounting – and so on. The fact is that people who are successful in life get help. Real men ask directions!
Sadly, eighty percent of smokers who quit do so without being in any program – and studies show that 95% of these self-reliant quitters fail, and go right back to smoking. It's the same rate of recidivism as with heroin. With a 95% chance of failure without a program, you may wish to consider getting some help this time around.
For those who have repeatedly failed at quitting in the past, it's comforting to learn that most smokers in fact fail several times before stopping successfully. Your past failures are not a lesson that you are unable to quit. Instead, they are part of the normal journey toward becoming a nonsmoker.
I certainly failed -- 11 times. Every time I failed, I lost a little more faith that I could really quit. So each time I quit, it got harder and harder to motivate myself to set a date. I had begun to feel it was hopeless.
My mission here is to restore your faith in yourself. You CAN quit. Even if you've failed several times in the past, understand that this is normal. You're not alone.

You need to get your resolve up, and try again. YOU CAN DO IT!
Get help -- lots of it. Get into a good program, or better yet, a combination of more than one.
Call your local branch of the American Cancer Society, or the American Lung or Heart Associations. All have inexpensive and effective, mainstream programs.

Buy a How to Quit Smoking Book, or a motivational cassette tape program in a bookstore, and listen to the tapes in your car. Every little bit helps!

There is also the National Cancer Institute's Smoking Quitline, 1-877-44U-Quit, offering proactive counseling by trained personnel.
Try a free meeting
If joining a small group of other quitters appeals to you, then try a Nicotine Anonymous meeting. It's likely there's one near you where you live. It's a 12-step program based on AA; they're nonprofit and free. Ask directory assistance to get the number for a local Nicotine Anonymous chapter, or call the national line at (800) 642-0666. You can also check their website. (A for-profit company trademarked "Smokers' Anonymous" -- so you want the FREE program -- Nicotine Anonymous).
Don't count on any of these programs to make it a breeze. None of them will do that -- but they WILL reduce your distress by 15% to 50%, depending on how addicted you are psychologically, vs. physically.
I'm not promising it will be easy -- it won't. So get your resolve and willpower up, because you'll need it! And you CAN do it.
Don't ask, "Does this program work?" Rather, ask yourself, "Am I willing to DO the work?" You know how to work, don't you? I'm betting that you do.
I come from a wealthy background, and at one point it occurred to me that wealthy folks may have a much harder time quitting smoking, alcohol, or even dieting -- because they're used to getting whatever they want, whenever they want it. If you count yourself among this group, you might wish to consider an inpatient treatment center. You'd reside in a hospital for up to a week with a group of other people who are also quitting.

How are your self denial muscles? Pretty good, no doubt! Let's see. Are you able to easily put off getting a brand new car, or going to a $60 per head restaurant? How about postponing that vacation in Monte Carlo, Aspen, or Florida? Good! If you can do those things, chances are good you won't need an inpatient program, and you'll have all the self-denial muscles you'll need to quit smoking. But you'll need to flex them. And yes, it might hurt a bit.

A Note About Tobacco Ads
Many teens, if asked, would say that tobacco ads have no influence over them. However, new studies tell us that advertising plays a greater role than even peer pressure in getting teens to smoke.
And one recent study shows that the three most heavily advertised brands are the same three brands most often smoked by teens -- Camels, Marlboros and Newport. It's no accident. Cigarette ads clearly influence our teens. Tobacco ads may not influence your conscious mind -- but they do influence the unconscious mind.
Your Unconscious Mind

What is the unconscious mind? In a famous study, the Russian scientist Pavlov rang a bell every time he fed his dog -- and eventually the dog would salivate just on hearing the bell -- even though there was no food there. The dog had made an unconscious association between the ringing and dinner, and began to drool!
Cigarette ads reach our unconscious minds. These ads create an unconscious association between the addiction of cigarettes and strong, positive images of attractive, healthy people, sports like tennis or mountain climbing, beautiful country scenes, cowboys gathered around a campfire or on horseback, masculinity and manhood, being feminine and womanhood, being a 'real person,' and so on. As of 2000, the tobacco industry has been spending over $5 billion annually to advertise its deadly products. That's a lot of bell ringing! And it's not lost on our kids.
The smoker's unconscious mind also makes repeated pleasant associations with the act of smoking -- watching the smoke slowly curling, putting a cigarette to the lips, languidly inhaling and exhaling, absently handling a cigarette -- all these are very much a part of the psychological addiction to tobacco. Quitters often feel as though they are losing a best friend.

For most addicted smokers, the addition is about half mental, half physical. Studies show that the ratio varies with each individual. The physical portion of the addiction is to nicotine. As to the mental or psychological aspect, a smoker's conscious mind says, 'I will stop smoking -- no problem.' But the unconscious mind has been conditioned for years that cigarettes give pleasure, and that's all it can focus on. The unconscious mind says, 'Gimmie a cigarette -- now!' It only recognizes what feels good. It demands a cigarette, without regard to right or wrong, and ignores the conscious mind's intentions. Aversion therapy is one way to help counteract this.

During the process of quitting, the new habit of being a nonsmoker forms. The ex-smoker's unconscious mind gradually gets used to being a nonsmoker, as the urges to smoke slowly fade away.

The Boilerplate Points
Do your best to follow as many of these as you can. The points below are advocated by most of today's credible quit-smoking products and programs. They are widely accepted as an essential and necessary part of quitting successfully. Just using the patch or Zyban without following the points below will hinder your chances to quit for good this time.

DEEP BREATHING PERHAPS THE SINGLE MOST POWERFUL AND IMPORTANT TECHNIQUE Every time you want a cigarette, do the following. Do it three times. Inhale the deepest lung-full of air you can, and then, very slowly, exhale. Purse your lips so that the air must come out slowly.As you exhale, close your eyes, and let your chin gradually sink over onto your chest. Visualize all the tension leaving your body, slowly draining out of your fingers and toes, just flowing on out. This is a variation of an ancient yoga technique from India, and is VERY centering and relaxing. If you practice this, you'll be able to use it for any future stressful situation you find yourself in. And it will be your greatest weapon during the strong cravings sure to assault you over the first few days. This deep breathing technique will be a vital help to you. Reread this point now, and as you do, try it for the first time. Inhale and exhale three times. See for yourself!

The first few days, drink LOTS of water and fluids to help flush out the nicotine and other poisons from your body.
Remember that the urge to smoke only lasts a few minutes, and will then pass. The urges gradually become farther and farther apart as the days go by.
Do your very best to stay away from alcohol, sugar and coffee the first week or longer, as these tend to stimulate the desire for a cigarette. Avoid fatty foods, as your metabolism will slow down a bit without the nicotine, and you may gain weight even if you eat the same amount as before quitting. So discipline about diet is extra important now. No one ever said acquiring new habits would be easy!
Nibble on low calorie foods like celery, apples and carrots. Chew gum or suck on cinnamon sticks.
Stretch out your meals; eat slowly and wait a bit between bites.
After dinner, instead of a cigarette, treat yourself to a cup of mint tea or a peppermint candy.
In one study, about 25% of quitters found that an oral substitute was invaluable. Another 25% didn't like the idea at all -- they wanted a clean break with cigarettes. The rest weren't certain. Personally, I found a cigarette substitute to be a tremendous help. The nicotine inhaler (by prescription) is one way to go: it's a shortened plastic cigarette, with a replaceable nicotine capsule inside.
A simpler way to go is bottled cinnamon sticks, available at any supermarket. I used these every time I quit, and they really helped me. I would chew on them, inhale air through them, and handle them like cigarettes. After a while, they would get pretty chewed up on one end -- but I'd laugh, reverse them and chew on the other end. Others may prefer to start a fresh stick. Once someone asked me, "Excuse me, but is that an exploded firecracker in your mouth?" I replied that I was quitting smoking – and they smiled and became supportive. Luckily, I never needed the cinnamon sticks after the first three days of being a nonsmoker.
Go to a gym, sit in the steam, exercise. Change your normal routine – take time to walk or even jog around the block or in a local park.
Look in the yellow pages under Yoga, and take a class – they're GREAT! Get a one hour massage, take a long bath -- pamper yourself.
Ask for support from coworkers, friends and family members. Ask for their tolerance. Let them know you're quitting, and that you might be edgy or grumpy for a few days. If you don't ask for support, you certainly won't get any. If you do, you'll be surprised how much it can help. Take a chance -- try it and see!
Ask friends and family members not to smoke in your presence. Don't be afraid to ask. This is more important than you may realize.
On your quit day, hide all ashtrays and destroy all your cigarettes, preferably with water, so no part of them is smokeable.
To talk to a live human being, call the National Cancer Institute's free Smoking Quitline, 1-877-44U-Quit. Proactive counseling services by trained personnel will be provided in sessions both before and after quitting smoking.

A NOTE TO NONSMOKERS If you live with a smoker, or are close friends with one: don't be a NAG about their smoking habit! (You can make noise about their smoking in the house or near you, because their second hand smoke hurts you – but don't nag them to quit. There's a BIG difference!)
Just three times a year you can ask your loved one – briefly – VERY briefly – to please quit smoking -- in VERY loving and warm tones. (Try surrounding your request with HONEST complements, keep it BRIEF, and they might be more open to hearing you.
But if you speak up more than three times per YEAR, then you're a yukky, obnoxious NAG. Ick! And your beloved smoker will be so ANGRY with you that they'll keep smoking just to spite you. You'll be defeating your very purpose.
I ask nonsmokers to honor their smoking loved ones, and treat them like adults.
And if your loved ones are nagging you, don't fall into the old trap of hurting yourself by continuing to smoke out of your anger toward them. Instead, let them know how you feel.

Sometimes, life is painful. It's supposed to be that way. All of us are faced with grief, loss and struggle. And it's by our struggles that we define and strengthen our character.
In my live talks and video for youth, I revive the ancient practice of initiation. As I initiate them into life, I let teens know that sometimes life will be painful.
"And when those moments come, you need to take the ADULT path," I tell the students, "and stay with the difficulty -- and not go lighting a cigarette, raiding the icebox, taking drugs, blasting music or switching on the TV -- or, going to work for too many long hours. All these are just ways of avoiding painful feelings and numbing them out."
If you stay with your pain, you'll begin to see what's causing it. And when you're ready, you can take a step to solve the problem.

FEEL -- AND YOU HEAL
One example: grieving your sadness to completion is the most effective way to heal it --rather than burying it, or carrying it with you deep inside for years. This is a core part of psychotherapy, and it works.
The same is true of anger – let your anger out in reasonable, mild little bits here and there, as you go along, right as things come up. This is better than letting it build up, and later exploding in rage.
It's helpful -- and healing -- to let your feelings out verbally, as you quit smoking. Better words should come out of your mouth, in loud complaining tones, than extra unneeded calories going in!
Don't worry, if you ask for support and tolerance, you'll get it. A great outlet for this is Nicotine Anonymous meetings. There you'll get plenty of support -- and hugs too, if you ask for them. Don't isolate, and do lean on others.
Especially for men, this is a sign of STRENGTH. Not going to a support meeting could be construed an act of fear, and therefore cowardice. So be brave, and seek support from others. It's a sign of a strong man in my book. Real men do ask directions!
It's true that smoking is mostly very enjoyable, even comforting, for you. Let's not lie about it. Quitting will be like losing a great, dear friend -- and you may find yourself grieving a bit. That's only natural, and it's okay.
But if you don't quit and "grieve" now, this great "friend" of yours will probably turn on you and kill you one day. It's statistically equivalent to playing Russian Roulette with not one, but two, bullets in the gun: if you smoke, you have a 40% chance of dying due to the habit. Not to mention continuing to put up with having to go outside most times you smoke.
In coming decades, we'll look back on smoking as a thing of the last century. We know that statistically, only children and teens begin the habit. As our government passes laws making it increasingly difficult for youth to obtain cigarettes, and as Uncle Sam limits the advertising of tobacco more in the future, teens will not start smoking in such huge numbers. Finally, one day smoking will be no more. No more deaths, no more disease, no more grieving families around the world.
Welcome to the wonderful world of nonsmokers. You can do it!

One definition of insanity is...
Repeating the same behavior over and over again, expecting different results.
To Review
Phase One was realizing that with the help of one or more programs, I could stay off cigarettes for one to three months.
But I did that 11 times.
Phase Two -- the period starting a few weeks after going cold turkey -- the urges to smoke would greatly diminish, even disappear. But it was vital that I came to realize that any time from a week to a year after quitting, I was sure to get an occasional surprise ATTACK – during which I was suddenly OVERWHELMED with the desire to smoke.
Usually these attacks would sneak up on me during moments of stress – positive stress (out with friends, partying, or on a vacation) or negative stress (while immersed in an angry, sad or lonely moment – you know about those.)
During these surprise attacks I would always rationalize, "I could have just one. Just one…I haven't had one for three months – so what's the harm of having just one now? I want it SO BADLY!" And I would take ONE, and ZAP! The next day I'd have "just one more," and before I knew it I was once again a full-fledged smoker, 100% addicted again, back up to a pack a day within just two or three weeks.
THE SECRET IS SIMPLEHang on for five minutes.
I finally stayed smokefree in this way:
When the surprise attacks came a few weeks or months after quitting, I told myself, "Hang on for five minutes – and this out-of-control urge to smoke will pass."
After 11 failed attempts, I looked back and I realized that several times in the past, surprise attacks were ALWAYS the critical moment in which I would inevitably become re-addicted, as "innocent" as "just one cigarette" might seem.
As I wrestled with myself thinking about this during an attack, I thought, "Okay. Relief is about four minutes away..."
Still I was dying for a smoke – okay, so now it was just THREE more minutes to hold on for... Now TWO...
And sure enough, at the end of five minutes – the urge would be all gone, and I would be quite proud of myself for holding on (plus I got to deny my smoking friend his pleasure in seeing me light up like him).
It's harsh, but --
Only a baby gets to relieve itself whenever it feels like it. Adults know how to delay gratification! It's time to remember you're an adult. So grow up and join the rest of the adults!

How to quit smoking

Diploma In Family Medicine, M.Sc - Psychotherapy
Sexologist, Pune

Source: Helpguide.org

Whether you’re a teen smoker or a lifetime pack–a–day smoker, quitting can be tough. But the more you learn about your options and prepare for quitting, the easier the process will be. With the right game plan tailored to your needs, you can break the addiction, manage your cravings, and join the millions of people who have kicked the habit for good.

Why quitting smoking can seem so hard

Smoking tobacco is both a physical addiction and a psychological habit. 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. Because of nicotine’s “feel good” effect on the brain, you may also have become accustomed to smoking as a way of coping with stress, depression, anxiety, or even boredom.

At the same time, the act of smoking is ingrained as a daily ritual. It may be an automatic response for you to smoke a cigarette with your morning coffee, while taking a break from work or school, or during your commute home at the end of a long day. Perhaps friends, family members, and colleagues smoke, and it has become part of the way you relate with them.

To successfully quit smoking, you’ll need to address both the addiction and the habits and routines that go along with it.

Your Personal Stop Smoking Plan

While some smokers successfully quit by going cold turkey, most people do better with a plan to keep themselves on track. A good plan addresses both the short–term challenge of quitting smoking and the long–term challenge of preventing relapse. It should also be tailored to your specific needs and smoking habits.

Questions to ask yourself

Take the time to think of what kind of smoker you are, which moments of your life call for a cigarette, and why. This will help you to identify which tips, techniques or therapies may be most beneficial for you.

  • Do you feel the need to smoke at every meal?
  • Are you more of a social smoker?
  • Is it a very bad addiction (more than a pack a day)? Or would a simple nicotine patch do the job?
  • Do you reach for cigarettes when you're feeling stressed or down?
  • Are there certain activities, places, or people you associate with smoking?
  • Is your cigarette smoking linked to other addictions, such as alcohol or gambling?
  • Are you open to hypnotherapy and/or acupuncture?
  • Are you someone who is open to talking about your addiction with a therapist or counselor?
  • Are you interested in getting into a fitness program?

Start your stop smoking plan with START

S = Set a quit date.

Choose a date within the next 2 weeks, so you have enough time to prepare without losing your motivation to quit. If you mainly smoke at work, quit on the weekend, so you have a few days to adjust to the change.

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

Let your friends and family in on your plan to quit smoking and tell them you need their support and encouragement to stop. Look for a quit buddy who wants to stop smoking as well. You can help each other get through the rough times.

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

Most people who begin smoking again do so within the first 3 months. You can help yourself make it through by preparing ahead for common challenges, such as nicotine withdrawal and cigarette cravings.

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

Throw away all of your cigarettes (no emergency pack!), lighters, ashtrays, and matches. Wash your clothes and freshen up anything that smells like smoke. Shampoo your car, clean your drapes and carpet, and steam your furniture.

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

Your doctor can prescribe medication to help with withdrawal and suggest other alternatives. If you can't see a doctor, you can get many products over the counter at your local pharmacy or grocery store, including the nicotine patch, nicotine lozenges, and nicotine gum.

How to quit smoking: Identify your smoking triggers

One of the best things you can do to help yourself quit is to identify the things that make you want to smoke, including specific situations, activities, feelings, and people.

Keep a craving journal

A craving journal can help you zero in on your patterns and triggers. For a week or so leading up to your quit date, keep a log of your smoking. Note the moments in each day when you crave a cigarette:

  • What time was it?
  • How intense was the craving (on a scale of 1-10)?
  • What were you doing?
  • Who were you with?
  • How were you feeling?
  • How did you feel after smoking?

Do you smoke to relieve unpleasant or overwhelming feelings?

Managing unpleasant feelings such as stress, depression, loneliness, fear, and anxiety are some of the most common reasons why adults smoke. When you have a bad day, it can seem like cigarettes are your only friend. As much comfort as cigarettes provide, though, it's important to remember that there are healthier (and more effective) ways to keep unpleasant feelings in check. These may include exercising, meditating, using sensory relaxation strategies, and practicing simple breathing exercises.

For many people, an important aspect of quitting smoking is to find alternate ways to handle these difficult feelings without smoking. Even when cigarettes are no longer a part of your life, the painful and unpleasant feelings that may have prompted you to smoke in the past will still remain. So, it's worth spending some time thinking about the different ways you intend to deal with stressful situations and the daily irritations that would normally have you reaching for a cigarette.

Tips for avoiding common smoking triggers

  • Alcohol. Many people have a habit of smoking when they drink. TIP: switch to non-alcoholic drinks or drink only in places where smoking inside is prohibited. Alternatively, try snacking on nuts and chips, or chewing on a straw or cocktail stick.
  • Other smokers. When friends, family, and co-workers smoke around you, it is doubly difficult to quit or avoid relapse. TIP: Your social circles need to know that you are changing your habits so talk about your decision to quit. Let them know they won't be able to smoke when you're in the car with them or taking a coffee break together. In your workplace, don't take all your coffee breaks with smokers only, do something else instead, or find non-smokers to have your breaks with.
  • End of a meal. For some smokers, ending a meal means lighting up, and the prospect of giving that up may appear daunting. TIP: replace that moment after a meal with something such as a piece of fruit, a (healthy) dessert, a square of chocolate, or a stick of gum.

How to quit smoking: Coping with nicotine withdrawal symptoms

Once you stop smoking, you will experience a number of physical symptoms as your body withdraws from nicotine. Nicotine withdrawal begins quickly, usually starting within thirty minutes to an hour of the last cigarette and peaking about 2 to 3 days later. Withdrawal symptoms can last for a few days to several weeks and differ from person to person.

Common nicotine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Cigarette cravings
  • Irritability, frustration, or anger
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Restlessness
  • Increased appetite
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Increased coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation or upset stomach
  • Depression
  • Decreased heart rate

Unpleasant as these withdrawal symptoms may be, they are only temporary. They will get better in a few weeks as the toxins are flushed from your body. In the meantime, let your friends and family know that you won't be your usual self and ask for their understanding.

Coping with Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptom

Duration

Relief

Craving for cigarette

Most intense during first week but can linger for months

Wait out the urge; distract yourself; take a brisk walk.

Irritability, impatience

Two to four weeks

Exercise; take hot baths; use relaxation techniques; avoid caffeine.

Insomnia

Two to four weeks

Avoid caffeine after 6 p.m.; use relaxation techniques; exercise; plan activities (such as reading) when sleep is difficult.

Fatigue

Two to four weeks

Take naps; do not push yourself.

Lack of concentration

A few weeks

Reduce workload; avoid stress.

Hunger

Several weeks or longer

Drink water or low-calorie drinks; eat low-calorie snacks.

Coughing, dry throat, nasal drip

Several weeks

Drink plenty of fluids; use cough drops.

Constipation, gas

One to two weeks

Drink plenty of fluids; add fiber to diet; exercise.

Adapted with permission from Overcoming Addiction: Paths Toward Recovery, a special health report from Harvard Health Publications.

How to quit smoking: Manage cigarette cravings

Avoiding smoking triggers will help reduce the urge to smoke, but you can't avoid cravings entirely. But cigarette cravings don't last long, so if you're tempted to light up, remember that the craving will pass and try to wait it out. It also helps to be prepared in advance. Having a plan to cope with cravings will help keep you from giving in.

  • Distract yourself. Do the dishes, turn on the TV, take a shower, or call a friend. The activity doesn't matter as long as it gets your mind off of smoking.
  • Remind yourself why you quit. Focus on your reasons for quitting, including the health benefits, improved appearance, money you're saving, and enhanced self-esteem.
  • Get out of a tempting situation. Where you are or what you're doing may be triggering the craving. If so, a change of scenery can make all the difference.
  • Reward yourself. Reinforce your victories. Whenever you triumph over a craving, give yourself a reward to keep yourself motivated.

Coping with Cigarette Cravings in the Moment

Find an oral substitute

Keep other things around to pop in your mouth when cravings hit. Good choices include mints, hard candy, carrot or celery sticks, gum, and sunflower seeds.

Keep your mind busy

Read a book or magazine, listen to some music you love, do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle, or play an online game.

Keep your hands busy

Squeeze balls, pencils, or paper clips are good substitutes to satisfy that need for tactile stimulation.

Brush your teeth

The just–brushed, clean feeling can help get rid of cigarette cravings.

Drink water

Slowly drink a large, cold glass of water. Not only will it help the craving pass, but staying hydrated helps minimize the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

Light something else

Instead of lighting a cigarette, light a candle or some incense.

Get active

Go for a walk, do some jumping jacks or pushups, try some yoga stretches, or run around the block.

Try to relax

Do something that calms you down, such as taking a warm bath, meditating, reading a book, or practicing deep breathing exercises.

Preventing weight gain after you’ve stopped smoking

Weight gain is a common concern when quitting smoking. Some people even use it as a reason not to quit. While it's true that many smokers put on weight within six months of stopping smoking, the gain is usually small—about 5 pounds on average—and that initial gain decreases over time. It’s also important to remember that carrying a few extra pounds for a few months won’t hurt your heart as much as smoking will. Of course, gaining weight is NOT inevitable when you quit smoking.

Smoking acts as an appetite suppressant. It also dampens your sense of smell and taste. So after you quit, your appetite will likely increase and food will seem more appealing. Weight gain can also happen if you replace the oral gratification of smoking with eating, especially if you turn to unhealthy comfort foods. So it's important to find other, healthy ways to deal with stress and other unpleasant feelings rather than mindless, emotional eating.

  • Nurture yourself. Instead of turning to cigarettes or food when you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed, learn new ways to soothe yourself.
  • Eat healthy, varied meals. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and limit your fat intake. Seek out low-fat options that look appetizing to you and you will actually eat. Avoid alcohol, sugary sodas, and other high-calorie drinks.
  • Drink lots of water. Drinking lots of water—at least six to eight 8 oz. glasses—will help you feel full and keep you from eating when you're not hungry. Water will also help flush toxins from your body.
  • Take a walk. Walking is a great form of exercise. Not only will it help you burn calories and keep the weight off, but it will also help alleviate feelings of stress and frustration that accompany smoking withdrawal.
  • Snack on low-calorie or calorie-free foods. Good choices include sugar-free gum, carrot and celery sticks, sliced bell peppers or jicama, or sugar-free hard candies.

Medication and therapy to help you quit smoking

There are many different methods that have successfully helped people to quit smoking, including:

  • Quitting smoking cold turkey.
  • Systematically decreasing the number of cigarettes you smoke.
  • Reducing your intake of nicotine gradually over time.
  • Using nicotine replacement therapy or non-nicotine medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
  • Utilizing nicotine support groups.
  • Trying hypnosis, acupuncture, or counseling using cognitive behavioral techniques.

You may be successful with the first method you try. More likely, you’ll have to try a number of different methods or a combination of treatments to find the ones that work best for you.

Medications to help you stop smoking

Smoking cessation medications can ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings, and are most effective when used as part of a comprehensive stop smoking program monitored by your physician. Talk to your doctor about your options and whether an anti-smoking medication is right for you. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved options are:

Nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine replacement therapy involves "replacing" cigarettes with other nicotine substitutes, such as nicotine gum or a nicotine patch. It works by delivering small and steady doses of nicotine into the body to relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms without the tars and poisonous gases found in cigarettes. This type of treatment helps smokers focus on breaking their psychological addiction and makes it easier to concentrate on learning new behaviors and coping skills.

Non-nicotine medication. These medications help you stop smoking by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms without the use of nicotine. Medications such as bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix) are intended for short-term use only.

Alternative therapies to help you stop smoking

There are several things you can do to stop smoking that don’t involve nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medications: Ask your doctor for a referral or see Resources and References below for help finding qualified professionals in each area.

  • Hypnosis A popular option that has produced good results. Forget anything you may have seen from stage hypnotists, hypnosis works by getting you into a deeply relaxed state where you are open to suggestions that strengthen your resolve to quit smoking and increase your negative feelings toward cigarettes.
  • Acupuncture One of the oldest known medical techniques, acupuncture is believed to work by triggering the release of endorphins (natural pain relievers) that allow the body to relax. As a smoking cessation aid, acupuncture can be helpful in managing smoking withdrawal symptoms.
  • Behavioral Therapy Nicotine addiction is related to the habitual behaviors (the “rituals”) involved in smoking. Behavior therapy focuses on learning new coping skills and breaking those habits.
  • Motivational Therapies Self-help books and websites can provide a number of ways to motivate yourself to quit smoking. One well known example is calculating the monetary savings. Some people have been able to find the motivation to quit just by calculating how much money they will save. It may be enough to pay for a summer vacation.

Smokeless or spit tobacco is NOT a healthy alternative to smoking

Smokeless tobacco, otherwise known as spit tobacco, is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. It contains the same addictive chemical, nicotine, contained in cigarettes. In fact, the amount of nicotine absorbed from smokeless tobacco can be 3 to 4 times the amount delivered by a cigarette.

What to do if you slip or relapse

Most people try to quit smoking several times before they kick the habit for good, so don't beat yourself up if you start smoking again. Turn the relapse into a rebound by learning from your mistake. Analyze what happened right before you started smoking again, identify the triggers or trouble spots you ran into, and make a new stop-smoking plan that eliminates them.

It's also important to emphasize the difference between a slip and a relapse. If you slip up and smoke a cigarette, it doesn't mean that you can't get back on the wagon. You can choose to learn from the slip and let it motivate you to try harder or you can use it as an excuse to go back to your smoking habit. But the choice is yours. A slip doesn't have to turn into a full-blown relapse.

I started smoking again, now what?

Having a small setback doesn’t mean you’re a smoker again. Most people try to quit smoking several times before they kick the habit for good. Identify the triggers or trouble spots you ran into and learn from your mistakes.  

  • You’re not a failure if you slip up. It doesn't mean you can't quit for good.
  • Don’t let a slip become a mudslide. Throw out the rest of the pack. It's important to get back on the non-smoking track now.
  • Look back at your quit log and feel good about the time you went without smoking.
  • Find the trigger. Exactly what was it that made you smoke again? Decide how you will cope with that issue the next time it comes up.
  • Learn from your experience. What has been most helpful? What didn’t work? 
  • Are you using a medicine to help you quit? Call your doctor if you start smoking again. Some medicines cannot be used if you are smoking at the same time.
1 person found this helpful

MD-PhD, FIPS, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE), DPM, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Ludhiana
Pharmacological Treatments to Help Quit Smoking

Why is it so hard to quit smoking?
You have probably heard this before: "Smoking is so bad for you. Why do you do it"

People start smoking for different reasons. They might think it will help calm their nerves, make them look more mature, or maybe at the time it just seemed sort of adventurous. Looking back, it was not the best choice. Many people really want to quit, but why is quitting so hard?

It is hard to quit smoking because the nicotine in cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products gets you hooked and keeps you hooked. Most people try as many as three times to quit before they are able to do so. Look at smoking cessation as a process instead of a one-time event. That way, if you do slip, you can focus on what you can do differently to prevent future slips and relapse. Don?t give up?you will get there.

You have probably heard a lot about how smoking is harmful, but here are some positive things you can look forward to when you do quit.

If you quit, you will:

Prolong your life
Improve your health
Feel healthier (Smoking can cause coughing, poor athletic ability, and sore throats.)
Look better (Smoking can cause face wrinkles, stained teeth, and dull skin.)
Improve your sense of taste and smell
Save money (Most smokers spend about $90 a month on cigarettes.)
Smoking increases complications for those who have diabetes.

While smoking can increase your chances of getting diabetes, it can also make managing diabetes more difficult for those who already have it. Smoking-related complications of diabetes could include retinopathy (eye disease), heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and/or foot problems.

What options do people have?
Some people try quitting on their own before they go to their doctor, but your doctor can be very helpful. He or she may offer tips and suggest medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, to help you "kick the habit" It is also important to tell your doctor what types of products you might use or are using to quit smoking. The doctor can make sure that suggested products will not interact with other medicines you are already taking. Remember, there is no "magic bullet" when it comes to quitting smoking. Quitting requires persistent effort.

Over-the-Counter Medicines
Nicotine-based medicines
Over-the-counter medicines that contain nicotine can be very helpful in fighting off cravings. These products will not remove all cravings, but you can use them instead of smoking to reduce your nicotine intake gradually and ease off of its addictive effects.

When you give your body a steady dose of nicotine all the time and then stop suddenly, you will have more side effects (withdrawal symptoms) that usually make quitting a lot harder. Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, headache, and the craving to smoke. Go slow and lower the dose gradually with nicotine-based products until you feel you are able to resist the cravings on your own. You will still have cravings, but they will be weaker. It is very important to have some form of social support when you decide to quit, no matter if you use products or not. Support can come from your doctor, counselor, support group, close friend, or a family member.

When considering a nicotine-based product to help you quit, be sure to tell your doctor about any conditions you might have, especially:

Asthma or breathing problems
Heart or blood vessel disease
High blood pressure
Stomach ulcer
Diabetes mellitus
Kidney disease
Liver disease
Overactive thyroid
Pheochromocytoma (PCC)
Over-the-counter treatments are typically used for up to 12 weeks as part of a smoking cessation program.

Additional things to consider when taking nicotine-based medicines

Do not smoke while you are using the nicotine-based medicines. You could risk overdosing on nicotine.
Tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking or any allergies you have.
Do not use the nicotine-based medicines if you are breastfeeding, are pregnant, or think you might be pregnant.
Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children and pets.
Common brand names of the nicotine patch, gum, and lozenge include:

Nicorelief� (gum)
Nicorette� (gum)
NicoDerm� CQ� (patch)
Commit� (lozenge)
Transdermal nicotine patch
The patch is worn directly on the skin. Nicotine passes through the skin into your bloodstream. Some brands have patches with different strengths so you can gradually reduce your dosage. Nicotine patches are available without a prescription. If you are not sure what kind of patch to use, ask your doctor.

Always follow the instructions on the box, but here are some things to remember when using the nicotine patch:

Patches are supplied in child-resistant pouches; save the pouch for disposal of the patch.
Find a clean, dry part of the skin to apply it. Somewhere on your upper arm or torso usually works best. Try to find an area that has little hair and is without scars, cuts, burns, or rashes.
Right before applying the patch, wash your hands and the skin area with plain soap and water and dry completely. Avoid using any soap, lotion, hand cream, tanning lotion or oil, bath oil or insect repellent that contains aloe, lanolin or glycerin as a moisturizer since these agents can leave a moisturizing film on your skin, which can potentially interfere with the adherence of the patch.
When you have finished applying or removing the patch, wash your hands with water only.
Do not try to adjust the dosage by cutting the patch into sections.
Leave the patch on, even while bathing or swimming. If it falls off, do not try to re-apply it. Use a new one
Remove the patch according to the instructions on the box (usually after 16 to 24 hours).
Dispose by folding sticky ends of the patch together and putting in pouch.
When applying a new patch, choose a different place than before. Do not use the patch in the same place for at least a week.
Do not leave the patch on for longer than directed.
Remove the patch if you are going to do rigorous exercise. This might cause more nicotine to pass into your bloodstream.
If you are unsure how to use the product, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain.
Remove the patch if you are having a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Nicotine patches contain aluminum.
If you have vivid dreams or other sleep disturbances, try removing the patch at bedtime and applying a new one in the morning.
Common side effects of the nicotine patch:

Increased appetite
Mild headache
Irritation at the site of the patch, including itching, burning, or redness
There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the information that comes with the product carefully, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

Nicotine gum
Nicotine gum, like the patch, is a systemic way to receive nicotine. This means that the nicotine in the gum passes from the lining of your mouth right into your bloodstream. Like the patch, you will decrease the dosage during the recommended time (usually 12 weeks or sooner) if you are able to resist cravings on your own. Nicotine gum is sold without a prescription.

Always follow the instructions on the box, but here are some things to remember when using nicotine gum:

Use nicotine gum only when you feel the urge to smoke.
Slowly chew the gum until you begin to taste it or feel a tingling sensation in your mouth. Then stop chewing and park it between your cheek and gum. This helps release the nicotine. When the taste or tingling is almost gone, repeat these two steps for 30 minutes.
Use only one piece at a time.
Do not drink beverages (e.G, soft drinks, tea, coffee, and fruit juices) or eat food 15 minutes before or while chewing the gum.
Gradually decrease the number of pieces of gum you chew per day, until you reach three to six pieces per day. Some people can do this in less than 12 weeks. Do not chew more than twenty-four pieces in 1 day.
Try to have the nicotine gum handy at all times. You might try hard candy or using regular gum, if the nicotine gum is not available.
Nicotine gum can be difficult to use if you have dentures.
Common side effects of nicotine gum:

Belching (burping), gas, or heartburn
Increased appetite
Mild headache
Watery mouth
Jaw or muscle pain or fatigue
Sore mouth or throat
Nausea
Hiccups
There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the information that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

Nicotine lozenge
A nicotine lozenge, like the patch and gum, is a systemic way to receive nicotine. This means that the nicotine in the lozenge passes from the lining of your mouth right into your bloodstream.

Always follow the instructions on the box, but here are a few things to remember when using the nicotine lozenges:

Place the lozenge in your mouth; wait until it dissolves completely; and move it around from time to time without chewing. It takes around 20 to 30 minutes to dissolve.
Do not take more than one lozenge at a time or continuously use one lozenge after the other, this can cause hiccups, heartburn, or nausea.
Do not eat or drink 15 minutes prior to, during, or after use.
Do not use more than five lozenges in 6 hours or more than twenty lozenges in 24 hours.
Prescription Medicines
Nicotine nasal spray
Nicotine that can help you stop smoking also comes in the form of a nasal spray, available only by prescription. Like the patch and the gum, the amount taken is gradually decreased during a period of 12 weeks. It is to be used, like the gum and the patch, as part of a program that also includes support, education, and counseling.

Nicotrol NS� is one brand of nicotine nasal spray.

Always follow the instructions on the prescription label. Here are some other things to remember when using nicotine nasal spray:

Blow your nose prior to use.
You may gradually reduce your dose of nasal spray by skipping doses or using only half the usual amount.
Writing down the time you take the nasal spray and how much you take might be very useful when reducing your dose.
Common side effects of nicotine nasal spray:

Back pain
Constipation
Coughing
Indigestion or nausea
Runny nose
Sneezing
Watery eyes
Headache
A burning feeling in the back of the throat or nose
The nicotine nasal spray is not recommended for people with reactive airway disorders such as asthma. In addition, caution is urged in patients with chronic nasal disorders.

There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the information that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

Nicotine inhalant
A nicotine inhalant?available only by prescription?used for up to 6 months (initial treatment period up to 12 weeks followed by gradual reduction period of up to 12 weeks) can be part of a smoking cessation program. When the inhaler is used, nicotine passes from the lining of the mouth and throat (not the lungs) into the bloodstream. Like other nicotine products, you will decrease the dosage during the recommended time (usually several weeks) or until you are able to resist cravings on your own.

Nicotrol Inhaler� is one brand name of nicotine inhalant.

Always follow the instructions on the box, but here are some things to remember when using a nicotine inhalant:

Store the inhaler in a dry area at room temperature not to exceed 77� F or 25� C.
Write down the time you take the inhalant and how much you take. This might be very useful when reducing your dose.
The normal first dose is between six and sixteen cartridges per day.
Common side effects of nicotine inhalants:

Coughing
Indigestion
Mouth and throat irritation
Stuffy nose or runny nose
There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the information that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

Bupropion
Bupropion is more commonly seen under the brand names of Zyban� or Wellbutrin�. Zyban is specifically indicated for smoking cessation. It is not a nicotine-based medicine; it is an antidepressant that is only available by prescription. It is prescribed along with counseling and support to aid in smoking cessation. Bupropion might also be used to treat major depressive disorders. It usually takes 2 weeks for bupropion to take effect, so plan to quit smoking 2 weeks after beginning the treatment.

Before considering bupropion, be sure to inform your physician if you have a history of seizure disorder, bulimia, or anorexia nervosa.

Bupropion comes in tablets that are to be swallowed whole, not crushed, divided, or altered in any other way. Individual prescription strengths might vary, so if you are taking bupropion, be sure to follow the directions on the label. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you have about how to take it, when to take it, any potential side effects, and the duration of treatment.

Common side effects of bupropion:

Dry mouth
Sweating
Insomnia
Rash
Headache
Dizziness
Anxiety
Restlessness
Irritability
Indigestion
Decreased appetite
There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the Medication Guide that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

Do not take bupropion if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) within the last 14 days. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are used to treat depression. Some examples include: tranylcypromine (Parnate�), phenelzine (Nardil�), and isocarboxazid (Marplan�). There are several products that might interact with bupropion, so be sure to tell your doctor about any over-the-counter and/or prescription medicines, as well as any herbal supplements you are taking.

While taking bupropion, immediately report any psychological changes (e.G, new onset depression) to your doctor.

Varenicline (Chantix�)
Varenicline, also known by the brand name Chantix, is a prescription medication that does not contain nicotine. This medicine helps to reduce the reinforcing effects of nicotine and can minimize the withdrawal effects from nicotine. It is recommended to set a quit date 1 week after initiation of varenicline therapy. Typically, this medication is taken for a minimum of 12 weeks accompanied by smoking cessation counseling. If you have stopped smoking, another 12 weeks of varenicline might be prescribed. If you have not stopped smoking after the first 12 weeks, stop taking this medication and return to your doctor for advice. Varenicline should be taken with food and a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Varenicline can interact with over-the-counter and prescription medicines especially insulin, blood thinners, and asthma medications as well as with certain herbal supplements; therefore, it would be important to inform your physician of your entire medication regimen.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any psychological changes (e.G, new onset depression) while taking varenicline.

Common side effects of varenicline:

Nausea, which may dissipate over time
Headache
Insomnia
There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the Medication Guide that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

How could research benefit smokers who want to quit?
Researchers are testing a vaccine that could make quitting a lot less difficult. This type of treatment could potentially be used in a program, along with bupropion (Zyban) and counseling, to significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms.

3 people found this helpful

How Tobacco Cessation Is Good For You?

MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Udaipur
How Tobacco Cessation Is Good For You?

Benefits of tobacco cessation are many. You reduce your risk for hypertension, cancer, cardio-vascular diseases and other serious chronic diseases substantially, at whatever age you quit your nicotine habit. The earlier you quit, the more you benefit. If you quit before the age of 50, you bring down your risk of dying from smoking-related diseases by 50%. But if you’ve crossed 60, suffer from heart disease and/or hyper tension, you can manage these diseases better through tobacco cessation. 

Here are a few other health benefits of stopping tobacco use: 

  1. Reduces risks of heart disease, cancer especially lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 
  2. Cuts down risks of Impotence due to erectile dysfunction in men, and fertility problems in women 
  3. Optic neuropathy affects the optic nerve that conducts visual signals from the eyes to the brain 
  4. Cataract Macular degeneration is breakdown of the tissue at the back of the eye 
  5. Psoriasis 
  6. Gum disease
  7. Losing teeth early 
  8. Osteoporosis or spongy, thin bones 
  9. Complications in pregnancy i.e. women who smoke have more complications during pregnancy and have low-birth babies. 

Your food and drink also tastes better once you kick the tobacco habit. 

So, how can you stop smoking? Are there any medications and strategies available? The answer is a definite ‘Yes’. Tobacco cessation has been honed into an art these days. 

  1. Clinics: There are tobacco cessation clinics that help you with tobacco cessation. These are manned by psychiatrists, who can provide detailed information, encouragement, and tips to stop smoking. 
  2. Medications: You can use many medicines while you’re trying to stop smoking. This increases your chance of quitting and including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). NRT can be in the form of gums, sprays, patches, tablets, lozenges, and inhalers. NRT is even available without a prescription. Medicines called bupropion and varenicline also very useful. 
  3. Electronic cigarettes: Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are designed to look and feel like normal cigarettes. These contain a heating element that vapourises a solution and looks like smoke. Some may also contain low levels of nicotine. There is currently controversial evidence on their efficacy. 
  4. Counselling and behavioural therapy: They are both very effective too, especially if you are being guided by a cessation expert. He or she can help you with a personalised quit plan, including ways to cope with nicotine withdrawal. Apart from this, online support is also available for those who don’t have the time or money to engage in personal, face-to-face counseling. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
2805 people found this helpful