There are two general types of anti-smoking medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Nicotine replacement therapies will work to deliver the chemical nicotine that you’re addicted to in small, consistent doses, in order to help relieve physical withdrawal symptoms. By leaving most of the physical addiction management work to the medication, you are freed to concentrate on what many consider to be most difficult aspect of the quitting process – managing the psychological addiction.
Common nicotine replacement methods are nicotine gum and nicotine patches. There are even nicotine inhalers, (some are even shaped like cigarettes!) which release a mist of nicotine and may help to relieve oral fixation and give your hands something to do. Non nicotine anti-smoking therapies work to block the pleasure receptors which are activated in your brain and which you associate with smoking.
Some treatmentsare actually mood stabilizers that were found to have side effects beneficial for quitting smoking. You could also become involved in a clinical trial of nicotine vaccination, usually found in large cities at research hospitals. Some nicotine vaccination approaches include an injection that activates your immune system to completely block nicotine from ever reaching your brain, and may work for up to a year.
You might prefer an approach that does not involve medication such as Quit Smoking Now, or just want to increase your chances of success by combining chemical treatment with an
additional method of quitting. One of the most common medical uses of hypnosis is for smoking cessation therapy. Ask your primary care physician to recommend a qualified hypnotherapist near your work or home. Acupuncture is another alternative, which is thought to work by triggering your body to produce endorphins that help to manage your withdrawal symptoms.
Or you might want to try broadening your existing support system. Many states have dedicated quit smoking toll-free hotlines for you to call when the craving hits. If your state doesn’t offer one, many nonprofit organizations offer nationwide phone support services for free. Use these phone lines on an as-needed basis to talk you through your craving, which will fade out in about five minutes. In recent years the medical community has recognized the effectiveness of focus groups dedicated to overcome specific addictions. Alcoholics Anonymous is probably the most recognizable and successful of these, but they have been shown to be effective in treating all types of addictions due to their use of the “whole person” approach. If you can’t find a smoker support
meeting in your area, try starting your own!
The best quit-smoking treatment for you is obviously the one that works. Make sure that your method is practical for your lifestyle and either directly or indirectly addresses some of the reasons you used to smoke. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed the first time around, instead congratulate yourself for your effort, and have another go!