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The Lowdown on Smoking Cessation Options
One of the most difficult things in life is to break a nicotine habit. You probably already have plenty of reasons to quit. But exactly how you're going to quit is tricky, and cold turkey is out of the question for many people. You've likely seen many ads for products to help you quit, but you're not sure if they're right for you, or if they'll even work. This article will answer all your questions.
Gum containing nicotine is one of the most popular methods, and is easily available in many stores. They come in several flavors and have different doses of nicotine in them, depending on how much you currently smoke. Over the course of several weeks, you slowly wean yourself off nicotine by reducing how much gum you chew. You'll experience a tingling feeling while it's being chewed. Nicotine gum has some of the same health risks as smoking, and prolonged use of the gum may lead to gum disease.
What about the patch? A nicotine patch is applied once a day, at the same time, and worn all day. It provides you with nicotine throughout the day, and like the gum is used to wean yourself off the habit. It can even be worn while taking a shower, so it's safe to get wet. Only one patch a day is needed to wear, and you shouldn't wear a second one unless the first falls off. The patch can cause skin irritation, dizziness, nausea, and other side affects.
There are also lozenges available, which work much like the gum does, and may even have a similar dosage schedule. It had similar side affects to the patch. They should be used for no longer than four months, unless your doctor says otherwise.
When using any nicotine replacement, regardless of whether it's gum, patch or lozenge, you should not smoke at all. This can lead to a nicotine overdose, which can be dangerous. While these products are considered to be safer than smoking, they should not be used for extended periods of time without medical supervision. You should also use these products with your doctor's guidance and following the instructions on the package.
You're probably thinking of the ads you saw on television for prescription medication, and it may be an option for you, with the added benefit of being nicotine free. Depending on which prescription you're prescribed, it may block the receptors in your brain that crave nicotine or lessens cravings and withdrawal symptoms. You will need your doctor's supervision while using these drugs, and some may not be used while using nicotine replacement products or with other medications. They are typically prescribed for a 12 week period, but they can be taken longer if needed. Side effects will vary from something simple as dry mouth to depression and other behavioral issues, which may also be related to withdrawal.
In addition to medication and nicotine replacement, look for support groups and counseling. Quitting smoking isn't something you have to do alone. You can meet in person with other people, or look for support forums online. There are plenty of people who have been where you are, and many are willing to help. And remember that there's no race to quit. You work at your own pace.
Quitting smoking isn't easy, and many smokers have struggled to quit. But remember that it's always worth it to quit, and if one method doesn't work for you, try something else. But most importantly, don't quit on quitting smoking.
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