Quitting an addictive habit like smoking is not easy, the longer you have been smoking, the more difficult it is to stop. However, with the help of a few aids your task may become relatively easy. The following are a few of the most recommended ones-
Chantix is an FDA approved medicine that makes it easier for a person to manage the withdrawal symptoms after quitting smoking. The medicine should be taken on prescription only as it can cause severe side effects like problems with balance, unusual bleeding or bruising, mood swings and depressive thoughts, changes in vision, irregular heart beat, etc.
Zyban helps in reducing nicotine cravings post quitting. The medicine is nicotine free and was originally used to cure depression. This medicine too should be taken on prescription only since it can cause side effects like insomnia, headaches, dryness of the mouth, etc.
The Nicotine Patch
The nicotine patch is believed to be an effective smoking cessation aid as it provides controlled doses of nicotine that are reduced gradually, to make it easier for a person to get to used to a nicotine free life. Nicotine patches come in varying strengths and are typically applied for about 16 hours a day. Sleeping with a nicotine patch on is not advisable as it can lead to disturbed sleep.
As useful as nicotine patches maybe they do have some side effects as well. You should therefore consult your health care provider before using them and report any symptoms or discomfort that you experience after or during use, to your doctor.
Nicotine gum is another popular stop smoking aid as it provides nicotine to the body without the other poisonous substances and carbon monoxide that traditional cigarettes come loaded with. The problem, however, is that nicotine gums can turn addictive too, since nicotine is an addictive substance and is definitely not harmless! To make the gum work as a smoking cessation aid, it is therefore important to follow a plan of gradually reducing your gum consumption, till you are ready to quit completely.
Nortriptyline and Clonidine
Both the drugs are approved by FDA as smoking cessation aids. While Nortriptyline is usually used as an anti-depressant, Clonidine is prescribed for high blood pressure. As with all other medicines, the risk of side effects looms on these drugs as well, they should therefore only be taken on prescription.
E-cigs contains nicotine and water and allow users to inhale nicotine in vaporized form. They do not contain tobacco and most other poisonous substances that normal cigarettes do. Though, e-cigs are not approved as official smoking cessation aids, but because they look, feel and taste like real cigarettes, are smokeless and come with lesser side effects (than traditional cigarettes) they have become quite popular.
Natural aids include activities and substances that come without side effects. Most natural aids work at a psychological level. The following is a list of some of the most popular ones –
a) A glass money box- The idea is that you should put the money you’d have used for cigarettes had you not quit smoking into this money box. Your growing green pile is likely to keep your motivation levels high and help you stay away from cigarettes.
b) Oxygen Mask and voice Boxes- These tools are meant to make you realize just how dangerous cigarettes can be. Looking at them everyday will make you fear cigarettes instead desiring them.
c) Hypnosis and NLP- These are side effect free therapies that can help you deal with the deep rooted psychological causes and triggers associated with smoking.
Each of these tools can help you reach the point of giving up cigarettes for good. However, it is important to remember that these are only aids, they can help you but can’t make you quit. At the end of the day, it is your will power that will serve as the most powerful smoking cessation tool.