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Quit Smoking - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

A lot of people are addicted to the fatal habit of smoking. However, there are many treatments available that can wean an individual off smoking. If one categorizes them, the treatments would fall under the following heads:

  • Pharmacological ways – These ways are typically the ways that would involve nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). This type of therapy would aim to replace the deadly nicotine with something, which is similar in the chemical structure. However, the ill effects of nicotine will be eliminated. The prolonged use of NRT will eventually wean the individual out of nicotine.
  • Home remedies - These will take a longer time for an individual to wean from nicotine, although this therapy is considered the best in the longer run. There are minimal side effects when home remedies are applied. Individuals are usually distracted from nicotine during the therapy. Detoxifying drinks are administered for the body to release the inhaled toxins.
  • Placebo & rehabilitation therapy - Placebo treatments are the kind of therapies, which will mock the smoking activity. The individual will be subjected to something called electronic cigarettes. Smoking the same will not generate the nicotine smoke, but psychologically, the individual will have the satisfaction of smoking.

How is the treatment done?

There are many ways to quit smoking. The various weaning ways will have set procedures and rules to be followed. The individual undergoing that treatment is kept under strict supervision and denied nicotine completely. Let us look deeper into the treatment ways!

- Nicotine Replacement Therapy(NRT) - The treatment will allow the body to absorb lower doses of nicotine except for the tar. Tar is nothing but carbon monoxide, which is the trouble creator. This therapy will eliminate sudden withdrawal symptoms, bad moods, and cravings. NRT molecules are available in different forms which aim to eliminate smoking. The various forms are:

  • Inhalators
  • Skin patches
  • Chewing gums
  • Tablets, syringes and lozenges

Patches will have a low speed of nicotine release. The patches are often advised to be taken off in the night. Chewing gums, inhalators and tablets have a higher rate of release, and might elevate the cravings. Only a single type of NRT will not be enough to wean out the bad habit. However, a combination of the above examples can together be taken up to 8-12 doses to show up any visible effect.

- Home remedies - Home remedies basically aim to heal the damage that has been caused by the hard part of the nicotine toxin. This toxin will permeate the body and cause damage to the cells, especially of the lungs. A home remedy with water is one of the widely used weaning methods. The absorption of extra amounts of water will force the toxin out of the body. Tobacco and nicotine in synergy cause a lot of damage to the cells. The same can be revived or reversed using water. Drinking water at regular intervals and under prescribed levels will ensure complete flush out of the toxin.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Ideally, an individual who has reached the highest level of nicotine contamination is eligible for treatment. However, upon doctors’ advice, all addicted individuals need not undergo treatment. The “quit smoking” treatment will again invite a sudden toll in the body. The changes, though for long-term benefits, will push the body into accepting the same. Weaning a bad habit will trigger bad moods and hyperactive individual nature.

Treatment should be taken under supervision and care. The withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and one need to be patient. Getting a high fever or a strong headache are signs of the weaning process and hence, you should not panic.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

The people who should be exclusively refrained from this treatment are:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children below 18 years
  • Breastfeeding women
  • People suffering from kidney problems and
  • People who encounter problems like epilepsy and eating disorders

The above categories of individuals refrain from such treatments because putting the body in a strict routine is not possible with them. A pregnant woman cannot be exposed to those patches and strict diet as she will have her own drugs to be administered. A combination of both will have ill-effects on the little one.

Are there any side effects?

Well, every treatment administered to the human body will end up in side effects. The severity of the side effect might differ from one to another. Since, NRT is the widely-used method of weaning, side effects related to the drug used are common. The possible side effects are:

  • Sickness: The state of being sick is the trend while under the therapy. The main reason behind this are the withdrawal symptoms and effects of the drug. The body will tend to feel weak and lean as the sudden kick from nicotine will be missing. The slow release of nicotine will make the body weak.
  • Constipation: Another most occurring side effect is constipation. This condition is due to the pharmacodynamics going inside the body due to the drug. Excretions will be affected majorly, as the therapy will try to eliminate the contamination of nicotine from all the major biochemical pathways.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

A typical “quit smoking” treatment would last for about 8-12 weeks. However, the real care and struggle come post treatment. The adopted ways are quite easy to give away unless the following guidelines are adhered to:

  • Stay away: Keeping yourself away from areas and groups that are smoky is a mandate. It is necessary that you keep away from people who smoke. Passive smoking is again deadly! Post treatment, the body signals will move towards returning to smoke. This happens due to the undying need for nicotine. Exposure to surrounding nicotine can trigger the need back.
  • Eat healthy: Eating healthy food like fruits, vegetables and juices will bring back the health to normal. All the side effects that were evident should vaporize. Fruits and other veggies will also improve one’s immunity and help fight any infections.

How long does it take to recover?

As soon as the therapy ends, a new phase of recovery begins. Your strict routine and medications will slowly take turns to heal the damaged lung and associated respiratory system. At the beginning, withdrawal symptoms will take charge and make things a little difficult for you. Bad mood and behavioral changes are inevitable. However, complete healing might take 2-3 years’ time. Momentary relief will start within a few weeks of treatment.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Generally, Indians always keep a mindset of being reasonable in everything that they do. The skin patches used as NRT will cost about INR 700-800. Overall, the treatment would cost around $10-12. The same might vary due to the differences between the treatment centers.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Well, the results of the treatments are permanent and will not turn temporary until one decides to. Quit smoking will become a part of your routine and you should exactly know what do to keep yourself in that. The treatment requires commitment and discipline. With the right attitude, the results can be forever. Temporary relief will become permanent with only your discipline. Results can reverse at any point if you fall weak and give into your old bad habits.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

This kind of addiction seldom finds alternatives. Nevertheless, there are a few ways that will let you quit smoking. They are:

  • Psychological training will train your mind to learn the ill effects of smoking. Your mind will be filled with so much of negativity about smoking that you will be forced the habit.
  • Fear is another weapon! Animated effects of smoking in lungs and respiratory systems will scare the smoker.

Popular Questions & Answers

Polyps in throat and dry throat and flue symptoms from last 5,6 months. Doctor prescribed after inspection two medicine. One is inhaler (salmeterol & fluticasone combination (flomist)) second is nasal spray (fluticasone (flomist)). It's been two months polyps have reduced but still exist. Which one out of two medicine I can stop?

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Dear Mr. lybrate-user, ideally you should be asking the question to your doctor who prescribed the treatment. Polyps commonly occur in the nose and are treated with low dose steroid nasal spray (fluticasone) usually for 3- 4 months or longer based...
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I have been feeling awfully hungover for the past 9 months. It all started after a night of drinking last summer. I woke up in the morning with a hangover, and it lasted for two days, then one more, and so on. I have absolutely no explanation for it. General health condition: healthy 23 years old male, no known health problems before. 7 years smoker, occasional drinker, in good physical shape. Financial, personal, and general situation very positive, no reason for sadness in general. Symptoms: - waking up every morning with horrible internal tremors which last for the whole day, eye-popping headache, extreme numbing especially in the face area, very dry lips and feelings of extreme thirst. - inability to sleep less than 10 hours with constant waking up after ~6 hours of sleep. - nightmares and very vivid dreams. - anxiety, feeling of impending doom all the time, inability to socialize without constantly shaking. Personal life taking a huge toll. - depression. - bruxism, teeth grinding all day, teeth hurt and some of them are chipped already. - muscle pain and stiffness. Involuntary muscle cramps in the morning. - mental fog. Things I have tried: - went to psychiatrist, taking lexapro (10 mg/day), mirtazapine (30 mg/evening), alprazolam (1 mg/day) for the past 6 months (they barely scratch the issue). - did multiple tests at multiple doctors (blood and stool tests, abdominal echography, got sinuses checked) - treated h. Pylori infection that was found when doing stool tests (have not re-done stool tests to confirm infection was treated) - converting to the healthiest lifestyle possible: quit drinking, quit smoking, lots of sport. - tried many diets: keto, vegetarian, vegan, low-fat, low-cholesterol, generally healthy food, no fried stuff - tried supplements: l-thiamine, nac, cbd, probiotics, multi-vitamins, calcium, magnesium. Things I thought about trying: - doing a brain scan. - talking to psychiatrist about changing medication (don't think it would do much). What could my condition be? I am very close to giving up, this feels like it has no end. If anybody has any idea what this could be, or knows about a similar experience, and could point me in any direction, I would appreciate it very much.

M. S. in Psychotherapy and Counselling
Psychologist, Jaipur
Hi, agreed with Dr. saranaya's answer. I would like to add one more thing to her answer that you should take a few cognitive behavior therapy sessions from a good psychotherapist. You might be having some deep down issues which you can solve with ...

I am in depression and a lot of exam stress as I am a medical pg aspirant and a doctor, I am using few medications, bupropion 300 mg, lamotrigine 200 mg, venlafaxine 37. 5 mg, aripiprazole 5 mg, pacitane 2 mg, rabeprazole and ondansetron, these r prescribed drugs by a psychiatrist but I myself take. Few medications since 4 years to help with my studies, stimulants (legal ones) to be specific, modafinil 200 mg, selegiline 5 mg, caffeine 220 mg, and the problem now is I never smoked in my life, although I used to drink one year before, only one year I used to drink, was a social occasional drinker and never had cravings and have been alcohol free since a year, but now although I never smoked before, I feel like smoking to relieve my stress despite taking so many drugs, I am still suffering, feel like crying and lack of motivation to study unless I take stimulants, so smoking cravings without even smoking ever before is my problem, I don't know why?, I was maybe a bit influenced by looking at movies and my friends all around me who smoke whenever they r stressed out, which helps with them actually, maybe I thought smoking a bit might relieve stress and make me motivated a bit so I start studying again, can any psychiatrist can help me with this problem? And explain why I am having cravings ?(note: the bupropion I am using is for depression not for smoking cessation), please help me find a solution, I would take a consult as well if somebody who r addiction specialist who can help me with my problem and explain what I am going thru, thank you.

M.B.B.S, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Ghaziabad
Its probably due to social learning from your intimate environment where you would have seen people taking about/ experiencing stress and smoking simultaneously. Other probable reason is the use of stimulants which usually provokes tolerance with ...
1 person found this helpful

Sir, I have acid reflux from last 1 year and my doctor has advised me esomeprazole and domperidone combination I have been taken it from last one year daily. It's not very severe reflux but whenever I eat spicy or junk it happens specially in evening. When I take these medicines I do not see any symptoms. Is it safe to take it daily for long term like for coming years also or should I change it to rabeprazole.

Liver Transplant, Surgical Gastroenterology, Fellowship in Abdominal Multi Organ Transplant Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Hi lybrate-user, whats your bmi. And what's the grade of reflux. A lot of life style changes can improve reflux especially if the grade of reflux is less. Physical activity, weight loss, smoking cessation, early dinner to increase gap between last...

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