Quit Smoking: How to Increase Your Chance of Success

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

There are several ways to help you quit smoking. Some professionals would recommend the use of pharmacological products to help wean off your nicotine dependence, others would simply recommend that you get a good support group or a smoking cessation program. And to make it more confusing, there are studies that claim that one is better than the other, and the next study you read offers the contrary.


Doctor Holds Broken CigaretteBut there is one thing that most experts would agree on – that a combination of these smoking cessation methods works best. For instance, using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone, or counseling alone, may not be as effective as the combination of these two.

What to Look for in a Smoking Cessation Program


If you’re planning to create or choose a smoking cessation program, you may want to consider these 4 elements:

  • Proper use of prescription medications. If you feel that you’re among those smokers who are severely dependent to smoking, using nicotine replacement products and prescription drugs (e.g. Chantix) may be very helpful. These products help you wean off your nicotine dependence. Always talk to your physician before using any of these products.
  • Advice or support group. This may include in-person counseling, telephone or online support, coaching and mentoring. Support groups can help identify your triggers, keep you on track, develop contingencies, and become more self-aware.
  • Recording and journaling. Keeping a journal or a record of how much you spend for cigarette and how much you can save for not smoking will help you keep you on track. It can serve as some sort of motivation.
  • Deeper understanding. Learn the science. Talk to professionals, and try learn for yourself how cigarette smoking harms your health and of those who are around you. Also, try to discover how others have successfully overcome the challenges.

An important note however, if you have or had had a health problem, like if you have a history of stroke or heart attack, or that if you’re planning to get or is pregnant, it is best that you go and see your physician first to discuss your quit options.

When Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine replacement therapy come in many forms. Some of the most common types are:

  • Gums,
  • Patches, and
  • Nasal sprays

The proper use of these products often determines the success of the therapy. Below are some reminders when using NRTs:

  • Don’t use NRT if you’re still smoking. Stop smoking first.
  • Use NRT to address the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Make sure that you have consulted your doctor before using any NRT.
  • NRT are not used to replace smoking. Gradually reduce the dosage of the NRT you’re using depending on the program you’re following.

When deciding which NRT or prescription drugs to use, it is best that you consult a qualified expert. Seeing your doctor and asking his or her opinion will ensure that you are using the right and safe product. He or she can also advise you of the proper way of using these products, like how much, how often, and how long you need to use a particular smoking cessation.



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