Smoking harms the different parts and functions of your body. Incessant smoking heightens your risk for “smoker’s cough,” bronchitis, and even lung cancer. In fact, the American Lung Association reports that 90% of lung cancer patients contracted the disease through smoking or second-hand smoking. Smoking-caused lung cancer can also be extremely fatal. As many as 1 in 5 patients have a low chance of surviving five years after they’re diagnosed.
The toxic chemicals from cigarettes can also have other dire effects on your health. For one, it builds up plaque in the arteries. Should blood fail to reach your brain due to this obstruction, it can result in a stroke. This can significantly damage your brain, which is why survivors suffer paralysis or have difficulty speaking.
However, it’s not too late to put away your cigarettes for good. There are tons of long-term solutions to quitting smoking. Below are a few you can try.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy involves using alternative sources of nicotine. These sources are usually smokeless and tobacco-free. There are many stop-smoking aids that you can choose from, but nicotine pouches are one of the best and most discreet choices out there. Nicotine pouch provider Prilla highlights how pouches can come in a variety of brands, flavors, and strengths. You can start off with a 6mg ZYN pouch if that is what your body is used to, then gradually decrease the strength over time.
If you prefer a non-oral aid, try a nicotine patch. It’s a simple latex stick-on that supplies your body with nicotine. Nicoderm CQ is one brand that also comes in different doses. While these patches are easily available without a prescription, it’s still best to consult a doctor before using them. A healthcare professional can help you navigate how to use patches and which strength to start out with.
Unlike NRT, Quit Tobacco medicine does not contain nicotine. Instead, these prescription pills help with withdrawal symptoms by regulating the release of certain chemicals in your brain. Bupropion, for instance, inhibits dopamine–the brain chemical that’s mainly associated with smoking withdrawal symptoms. There’s also Varenicline. This particular compound keeps your brain from feeling pleasure when you smoke.
Heavy smokers, like those who go through more than 1 pack a day, are usually advised to take prescription pills alongside NRTs and counseling. However, remember that you can only get these pills with a doctor’s prescription.
Counseling and support
While NRTs help manage the physical effects of cigarette withdrawal, counseling can further ensure that you are quitting smoking for good. If you don’t know who to consult, the hotline 1-800-QUIT-NOW can connect you to a reputable stop-smoking coach. During counseling sessions, you work with a professional to determine the emotional and mental triggers you associate with smoking. You can also discuss treatment plans, which NRTs to incorporate in such plans, and what other resources you can check out.
However, you may be more comfortable processing your journey to quit smoking with people you know. In this case, you can try relying on your usual support group before seeking the help of a counselor.
It can be extremely difficult to quit smoking. Fortunately, the multiple resources and aids available today mean that transitioning to a smoke-free life isn’t impossible. If you want to learn more about how you can improve your quality of life, check out our health guides here on Arakne Links.