The most important thing to know about the tools available to help you quit smoking: They’re tools. There’s no silver bullet. You have to take action and be determined to succeed. The following list includes some of the best resources we’ve found for quitting, as well as some others that are worth considering.
E-cigarettes are a great option for tobacco users who want to quit, so you can try vaping. They still contain nicotine but don’t have the same harmful chemicals as regular cigarettes. If you’re pregnant or have heart problems, however, e-cigs are not recommended.
As with any new habit, it may take some time for your body and mind to adjust to this change in your daily routine—but ultimately, quitting smoking will be worth it.
Nicotine gum can be purchased over the counter at most pharmacies. It’s an effective alternative to smoking and recommended for those who don’t want to use e-cigarettes as part of their quitting plan.
Nicotine gum is more effective than nicotine patches but not as effective as other forms of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). This is because there are fewer chemicals involved in NRTs, and they work faster than gums or lozenges (oral medications used to treat symptoms of dry mouth and throat).
These are not recommended if you have heart disease, a history of strokes, or high blood pressure since these medications increase your risk of having a stroke.
These patches are designed to slowly release nicotine into your bloodstream. To use them, you simply pop one on and wear it for as long as it’s prescribed (usually between three and seven days). Side effects include headaches, nausea, and vomiting.
If you’ve been using the patch for a while and want to stop, don’t simply take off the patch. Talk with your doctor about how long he or she recommends using them before stopping completely (it varies depending on how long you’ve been using them).
The number of patches needed depends on whether they are “weeks” or “months” dosed patches.
Prescription medications for smoking cessation
Prescription medications for smoking cessation, like nicotine replacement products and varenicline, are highly effective when used as directed by a doctor. They can also be expensive and may cause side effects in some people. Prescription medications aren’t for everyone, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits before starting any new treatment.
If you’re looking for a natural alternative that doesn’t require a prescription, several safe options are available over-the-counter (OTC). The best OTC aids are those that combine multiple ingredients into one product. For example, patches with gum or lozenges containing several herbs—proven combinations- work better than single ingredient approaches.
Quitlines are a great resource
Quitlines are free and confidential resources that can help you quell your nicotine cravings, find new ways of dealing with stress, and plan to get through the tough parts of quitting.
You can talk with a trained counselor who will listen to your situation and help you find the right tools for your needs. This service is available in most countries around the world—check if there’s one in yours.
There are so many tools out there, and it can be overwhelming to know where to start. We recommend that you experiment with what works best for you by starting with one or two of these tools at a time. Once you’ve found something that works, then try adding another tool into the mix. It’s important not to give up on yourself if one method doesn’t work as well as another—there are plenty out there.