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There are many methods for helping patients quit smoking.
Many patients quit cold turkey by setting a quit date. Remember, nicotine is more
addictive than crack cocaine and heroin and you may need help. The
most successful smoking cessation programs include support groups and counseling.
The QuitGuide is a free
application developed by MMG, Inc., for the Tobacco Control
Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Written
by tobacco control professionals and cessation counselors, with
the help of ex-smokers and experts, this app is designed to help
you prepare to quit smoking and support you in the days and
weeks after you quit.
Available from I-Tunes
Your health risks will reduce
if you quit.
After 20 minutes your heart rate slows.
After 12 hours the carbon monoxide in
your blood returns to a normal level.
Between 2 weeks to 3 months your lung
functions improve and your risk of heart attacks declines.
Between 1 to 9 months your coughing
and shortness of breath reduces.
After 1 year your risk of a heart attack
in one half that of a smoker's.
Between 5 to 15 years your risk of
stroke is the same as someone who does not smoke.
After 10 years your risk of lung cancer
is one half that of a smoker's.
After 15 years your risk of a heart
attack is that of a non-smoker's.
Health risks are not appreciably
reduced by smoking cigarettes with less tar. The risk of lung cancer is
similar in those who smoke very low, low or medium tar cigarettes.
View Article The terms "
'light' and 'ultra light' (cigarettes) are misleading because they imply less
health risk but do not correspond to less hazardous cigarettes" -- Michael J.
Thun, MD, MS
Trying to smoke fewer cigarettes is often not effective because the patient will
compensate his or hers behavior to get more smoke and nicotine out of the
cigarettes that are smoked. Thus, the reduction in health risk is not as
great as one would expect.
The Table below shows the success
rate of quitting the addiction of Alcohol, Smoking and Heron.
Only 3% of young people have long term success at quitting
Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People, 1994 Surgeon
There are three basic steps to quitting smoking. Want IT, Plan IT, and
Set a quit date and stick to it.
Make a list of trigger situations
and have a strategy to avoid or deal with them. Anything to keep
your mind off of smoking for at least two minutes will often work. Many use Physical Training
or exercise for this purpose.
Reward yourself when you don't
Ask others not to smoke around you.
There are a number of tobacco programs designed
to help you quit
There are also a number of medications which can help the
smoker quit. However, they are not nearly as effective when used alone
than they are in combination with counseling and support groups. These
Mint Snuff Over-the-counter (A smokeless tobacco
Nicotine Patches - Over-the-counter
Nicotine Gum - Over-the-counter (Used to give a
relatively rapid boost in nicotine levels to control sudden cravings.)
Nicotine inhalers - Prescription (Used to give
a rapid boost in nicotine levels to control sudden cravings.)
Chantix is the newest prescription medication to suppress
cravings. Chantix blocks the nicotine receptors of the brain,
blocking the effects of nicotine. Patients loose their craving for
nicotine and many even develop a repulsion to it.
Important Safety Information (accessed 1/4/2008)
: "CHANTIX is indicated as an aid to smoking
cessation treatment in adults. Patients may benefit
from behavioral modification and support during
their quit attempt. Patients should be encouraged to
continue to attempt to quit if they have early
lapses after quit day.
The most common
adverse reactions include nausea, sleep disturbance,
constipation, flatulence, and vomiting. Nausea
occurred in 30% of patients; 3% discontinued due to
Safety and efficacy
of CHANTIX in combination with other smoking
cessation drug therapies have not been studied.
Dosage adjustment with CHANTIX is recommended in
patients with severe renal impairment or in patients
may alter the pharmacokinetics or pharrmacodynamics
of drugs such as theophylline, warfarin and insulin,
for which a dosage adjustment of these drugs may be
Patients should be
advised to use caution driving or operating
machinery until they know how quitting smoking with
CHANTIX may affect them." (Source
Chantix appears to have
the highest success rate to aid in smoking cessation
with the lowest rates of complications. Cessation
rates of 44% vs 18% placebo (Source
Zyban - Prescription (Acts on the brain to control
cravings). Zyban main effect is to suppress withdrawal symptoms.
Zyban is also the same drug as Wellbutrin
an antidepressant. It works by affecting the levels of the
Neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. The main advantage
of Zyban is that it avoids giving the pateint added nicotine.
Side Effect (accessed 1/4/2008) : "Don't take with
MAOIs, or medicines that contain bupropion. When used with a
nicotine patch or alone, there is a risk of increased blood
pressure, sometimes severe. To reduce risk of serious side
effects, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney problems.
Other side effects may include weight loss, dry mouth, nausea,
difficulty sleeping, dizziness, sore throat, constipation, or
Common side effects include dry mouth and difficulty sleeping.
Wellbutrin or Zyban should not be used in children under the age
of 18 years because of the risk of suicidal thoughts or actions.
Success rates with this medication
in my practice has been around 20%. This is consistent with
that observed by other. (Ref:
ALL MEDICAL SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD BE
COMBINED WITH A SUPPORT GROUP.
Above all Relax avoid stressful situations and find ways to release
tension and keep your mind off smoking. You may even
want to try to popping virtual-bobble warp. I am not sure if it will
help but it is fun.