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Quit Smoking - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

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.
Safety: Medium Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Medium Side Effects: Medium Recovery Time: High Price Range: RS. 700 - Rs. 800

Popular Health Tips

4 Easy Ways To Quit Smoking!

MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Chennai
4 Easy Ways To Quit Smoking!
How Smoking Impacts Your Organs? As you inhale cigarette smoke, about 7000 carcinogens stir the crevices of your body. In India, about 3,00,000 people die every year due to smoking-related issues. Here's a list of 5 such organs, which are the most affected by cigarette smoke. 1. Your lungs - Your lungs are probably the first organs to bear the wrath of cigarette smoke. Majority of the lung cancer cases are due to smoking. Other diseases include bronchitis and emphysema. This smoke paralyzes the cilia lining the inner walls so much so that it overproduces mucous. When the mucous builds, respiration suffers. Asthma and cancer follow. 2. Your Skin - Your skin also gets affected up to a huge extent if you smoke. You could have deep circles under your eyes, wrinkles on your skin, and stretch marks, if you continue smoking over time. Also, there lies the risk of major health issues like skin warts, psoriasis, skin cancer, and wounds, which may take longer to heal. 3. Your Penis - Studies revealed that you can take longer for an erection and find it difficult to maintain it if you are a heavy smoker. Studies have also revealed that men who quit smoking had longer and firmer erections. 4. Your Liver - Smoking increases the chances of you suffering from liver cancer dramatically. According to studies, half of the liver cancer cases are due to smoking. Obesity can also take place if you're a heavy smoker. 5. Your Eyes - Smoking affects your eyes to the extent of making you blind. Partial vision loss, glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye syndrome, and diabetic retinopathy are some of the other diseases you are susceptible to if you smoke. Despite the negative effects, quitting smoking can save you from all of these potential health hazards. Here are some ways to help you quit smoking. 1. Nicotine Replacement Therapy - There are a few nicotine replacement tools in the form of nicotine nasal sprays and nicotine inhaler, which you can use to quit smoking. 2. Chew on something - You should try to chew on some candy, or a gum, or anything crunchy and satisfying once you start getting restless for a cigarette or any other form of nicotine. That usually helps. 3. Relaxation techniques - If you are resisting tobacco strongly, it can be very stressful indeed. Take a break from whatever you are doing and go out for a walk, practice muscle relaxation, yoga or deep breathing to keep the craving out of the way. 4. Get involved in some physical work - Getting involved in some work will surely go a long way in reducing your craving. You can also try out physical exercises like squats, running, or jogging. Otherwise, you can also indulge in some needlework, or anything, which involves concentration or physical work.
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Smoking Effects And How To Quit Smoking

Dr. Anuneet Sabharwal 91% (156 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Smoking Effects And How To Quit Smoking
When you smoke, you not only harm yourself, but also the people around you. Your lungs aren t the only organs affected by tobacco; smoking has lasting effects on the mouth, nasal cavity, stomach, pancreas, kidney, liver, rectum etc. Smoking affects you physical and mental health, and can easily become an addiction. Smoking increases a person s risk of suffering from many types of cancer including oral cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer etc, as well as the chance of having a stroke or cardiovascular disease. It can also cause diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Emphysema. Smoking speeds up the ageing process, and triggers the formation of wrinkles. It can also cause cavities, gum disease and suppress appetite. Heavy smokers often have difficulties with their sexual functioning by having difficulty reaching an orgasm, and can even be infertile. Men may have difficulty maintaining an erection, while women who smoke are more likely to suffer from complications during pregnancy. Decreased bone density and weakened eyesight are some of the other long-term effects of smoking. When it comes to quitting smoking, there is no one technique that can work for everyone. Smoking is an addiction that becomes a part of your normal routine, and hence, quitting cigarettes can be very difficult for many people. To successfully quit smoking, one must address both the addiction, and the habits that accompany it. The first step to quitting smoking is to set a date for when you will have your last cigarette. Inform your friends and family about your decision, especially those who you used to smoke with and ask for their support. If you feel you may be tempted to smoke around certain people, it may be a good idea to avoid them for a while. Given that smoking is a habit, it is natural to crave nicotine. You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, frustration, restlessness, insomnia, fatigue, constipation headaches and a reduced attention span. To cope with these effects, remind yourself why you quit in the first place. Find ways to distract yourself and reward yourself from time to time for not giving in to nicotine cravings. To cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms, you may want to try cigarettes substitutes like nicotine gums or nicotine patches that deliver small doses of nicotine at regular intervals without the tar and other chemicals found in cigarettes. E-cigarettes, although popular these days, are not a safe alternative to smoking. Alternative therapies such as hypnosis and acupuncture can also help quit smoking. Consult your Psychiatrist, and be in regular follow up with him/her to stay clean and healthy.
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Popular Questions & Answers

Hi I smoke a lot like a 20 cigarette per day so I want to stop smoking but m not able to stop it and am getting very thin because I smoke so.Please help me for getting rid of that habit.

Dr. Jagadeesan M.S. 97% (10253 ratings)
MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Chennai
Detailed assessment is needed. Like the reason behind smoking, number of cigarettes and comorbid medical condition. Next you should be assessed for withdrawal from smoking and for reducing further craving. Thre are medications to reduce nicotine craving too. If you consult a psychiatrist they will be able to help you. All the best.
2 people found this helpful

I'm 24 smoking since 3 years. I want to quit smoking immediately because getting pain in throat but couldn't control myself. Please suggest me the way which is effective to stop smoking. Thank you.

M.Phil - Psychology, M.Sc
Psychologist, Delhi
Hello Mr. lybrate-user Any kind of substance quitting takes time & effort. It is a gradual process and I would suggest you take small steps. Nicotine Replacement & Motivation enhancement therapy will be very useful.
1 person found this helpful

Hi, I am smoking from last 5 years so I am not able to quit smoking so at least guide me to be healthy how to clean my lungs sum times I feel pain near heart. So please suggest to be healthy my age is 22.

Dr. Krishna Murthy 91% (281 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Hyderabad
Quitting smoking and deep breathing exercises like Pranayama may help you clean your lungs and lead a healthy life, though there are some medications which may help you quit smoking, high level of motivation on your part is necessary for quitting smoking, a psychiatrist or a psychologist may help you for that.

I have a high bp and still smoking and hooking up how to get out of it in short time Please help me to quit that addiction.

Dr. Sushil Kumar S V 93% (2093 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Psychiatry, MBA (Healthcare)
Psychiatrist, Davanagere
Good morning, Your hypertension or high blood pressure is related to smoking and therefore it seems like you need help quitting or stopping smoking. I certainly want to help you regarding your nicotine dependence and if you would like​ to consult in-person an expert Lybrate help desk executive will help find a de-addiction specialist near you. Look forward to hearing from you. If you need help with booking an appointment online with me on this website either text, audio or video appointment for a confidential and private consultation you may do so by contacting the help desk of Lybrate.

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