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Smoking Cessation: Treatment, Benefits, Home Remedies And Smoking cessation programs

Last Updated: Oct 04, 2019

How to quit smoking?

Tobacco is one of the major causes of death. People who smoke are at an increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases. Young people all over the world are taking up smoking and this is a serious health concern for parents, doctors and policy-makers all over the world. Dependency on tobacco is a chronic condition which is needed to be treated as soon as possible.

People who are not willing to give up smoking should be provided with an intervention that can help to increase their motivation to quit. It is of utmost importance for healthcare administrators, purchasers and insurers to support policies and practices that help to reduce the use of tobacco. It is also believed that a smoker can find relief by talking for even a few minutes with a therapist.

There are a number of plans that a person can adapt to quit smoking. These include quitting without any assistance. Research has shown that 90 percent of the people who try to quit smoking do so without taking any help from outside. However, only 4-7 percent of people are actually able to quit smoking by this method. Behavioral therapy is one of the best ways to quit smoking. A therapist helps a person to identify the triggers and to make a plan to overcome the problems. Other treatment methods include nicotine replacement therapy, use of medications and also a combination of these treatments.

What are the effects of smoking?

Smoking is injurious to health and it not only affects the lungs of the person but also brings serious threats like cancer. Inhaling the smoke causes damage to most of the organs in the body of a person.

Short term problems of smoking:

  • Fingers turning yellow
  • Staining of teeth
  • Developing diseases like coughing, runny nose, allergies, fever
  • Over time the capacity of your lungs shrink and your body loses the athletic ability.
  • There will be an increase in blood pressure and throat irritability.

Long term problems of smoking

  • The biggest risk of smoking is cancer.
  • Affects on the circulatory system.
  • Worse affects on the immune system.
  • Affects on the respiratory system.
  • Influence on vision.
  • It affects diabetes.

What types of treatments are available for smoking cessation?

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:

Pharmacological treatments to Quit Smoking :

This would involve nicotine replacement therapy. This type of therapy would aim to replace the 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.

1. Nicotine Replacement Therapy - 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

2. Patches: It 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.

3. 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.

Who is not eligible for smoking cessation 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.
  • People who encounter problems like epilepsy and eating disorders.

What are the tips to quit smoking?

Smoking tobacco is one of the physical disorders or a psychological habits which is addictive and makes you linger upon it for a long time. Nicotine in cigarettes give a feel-good effect on the brain and body making a person crave for it and quitting cigarettes means choosing a way better and healthier life of oneself. Getting rid of smoking is a long process and it requires very much strength. In order to quit smoking one should find his or her own powerful reason. There can be reasons like to be safe from lung cancer, heart disease, or to look a bit younger. Choose any of it to outrage your desire for smoking.

  • Giving yourself a break: The main reason for smoking is it gives people a feeling of relaxation and once you promises to quit smoking you need some ways to undo it. You can exercise, listen to your favorite music, meeting your friends, or taking out some time for your hobby and avoiding stressful situations can also help during the first week you quit smoking.
  • Avoid triggers like alcohol: When you quit smoking you must avoid being around things that trigger you like alcohol and switching to tea from coffee during the first weeks can also help. If you are a regular smoker and smoke after meals then try finding alternatives like going out for a walk, chewing gum, brushing your teeth or any other.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables: When you give up smoking you are a vulnerable stage and it is advised to avoid dieting. Try eating more vegetables, fruits, proteins as they are good for the body.
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What are the benefits of smoking cessation?

There are many benefits of smoking cessation as it is good for our health and there are many beneficial health changes like:

  • Within 20 minutes the heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • The level of carbon monoxide in your blood level drops in 12 hours.
  • Within 2-12 weeks the circulation of the body improves and even the lungs function properly.
  • In 1-9 months coughing decreases and there is no shortness of breath.
  • Decreasing the risk of coronary heart in 1 year.
  • In 5 years the risk of stroke.
  • Quitting smoking even decreases the risk of diseases related to second-hand smoke in children such as ear infection and respiratory diseases.
  • It also decreases the risk of impotence, difficulty in getting pregnant, premature births, and many others.

What are the Home remedies to Quit Smoking?

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 will ensure complete flush out of the toxin. 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.

Who should quit smoking?

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 needs to be patient. Getting a high fever or a strong headache are signs of the weaning process and hence, you should not panic.

What are the side effects of quitting smoking treatment?

  • Sickness: The state of being sick is the trend while under the therapy. The main reason behind this is 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.
  • Psychological training will train your mind to learn the ill effects of smoking. Your mind will be filled with so much negativity about smoking that you will be forced to quit the habit.
  • Fear is another weapon! Animated effects of smoking in lungs and respiratory systems will scare the smoker.

What is a smoking cessation program?

It is not at all easy to recover from addiction and it requires a lot of willpower and self-discipline to achieve success. Going for rehabilitation helps you to conquer your goals. It helps to build strong relationships with the people who are going through the same disorder.

  • Inpatient Rehab: In these rehab centres, there are structural treatment programs which are designed for each of the individual’s addiction. During inpatient rehab, the patients are given substance-free facility and therapeutic support. These are the best support for patients suffering from chronic disease.
  • Outpatient Rehab: These are again better for comprehensive addiction care. It lets you stay at home while the process of recovery is done. Patients can continue their daily routine while taking the treatment sessions and these outpatient rehabs do not take place in the residential areas.

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. In the beginning, withdrawal symptoms will take charge and make things a little difficult for you. Bad mood and behavioural changes are inevitable. However, complete healing might take 2-3 years’ time. Momentary relief will start within a few weeks of treatment.

How much does a smoking cessation program cost 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 centres.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Well, the results of the treatments are permanent and will not turn temporary until one decides to. The treatment requires commitment and discipline. 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 quit smoking?

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 negativity about smoking that you will be forced to quit the habit.
  • Fear is another weapon! Animated effects of smoking in lungs and respiratory systems will scare the smoker.

Key Highlights:

Safety: Medium

Effectiveness: Medium

Timeliness: Medium

Relative Risk: Medium

Side Effects: Medium

Recovery Time: High

Price Range: RS. 700 - Rs. 800

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Written ByDr. Goma Bali Bajaj Diploma in geriatric,MBBS,MEM,Diploma In GeriatricGeneral Physician
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