Quit Smoking (cont.)

Using these medicines can double your chances of quitting for good. Ask your doctor for advice. But remember: Medicine alone can't do all the work. It can help with cravings and withdrawal, but quitting will still be hard at times.

Here is more information about the different medicines.

Nicotine Gum, Patch, Inhaler, Spray, and Lozenge (NRT)

Nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, sprays, and lozenges are called nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). That's because they take the place of nicotine from cigarettes. NRT can help with withdrawal and lessen your urge to smoke.

You need a prescription to buy the inhaler and nasal spray. But you can buy nicotine gum, nicotine patches, and nicotine lozenges on your own.

Other Medicines

Bupropion SR is a medicine that has no nicotine. You need a prescription to get these pills. They seem to help with withdrawal and lessen the urge to smoke.

Some people have side effects when using bupropion SR pills. The side effects include dry mouth and not being able to sleep.

This medicine isn't right for:

  • Pregnant women
  • People who have seizures
  • People with eating disorders
  • Heavy drinkers

Ask your doctor, dentist, or pharmacist if this medicine is right for you. Make sure to use it the right way if your doctor prescribes it.

Thinking About Using NRT?

  • Ask your doctor, dentist, or pharmacist if nicotine gum, the patch, or some other kind of NRT is right for you. These medicines can cause side effects in some people. Some people should not use NRT without a doctor's help. Pregnant women are a good example.
  • Be patient. Using NRT correctly can take some getting used to. Follow the instructions and give it some time.
  • Don't mix tobacco and NRT. Having one or two cigarettes while you use the gum, patch, nasal spray, inhaler, or lozenge is not dangerous, but your goal is to quit smoking for good. Use NRT only when you are ready to stop smoking. If you do slip up and smoke a cigarette or two, don't give up on NRT. Keep trying.
  • Start out using enough medicine. Use the full amount of NRT in the instructions. Don't skip or forget to use your NRT after you first stop smoking.
  • Slowly use less and less medicine. But don't stop completely until you're ready. You can set up a schedule with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Keep some of the medicine with you after you stop using it. This way you'll be ready for an emergency.
  • Wait a half hour after using the gum, lozenge, or inhaler before you eat or drink anything acidic. Acidic foods and drinks can keep nicotine gums and inhalers from working. Acidic foods and drinks include tomato sauce, tomatoes, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, coffee, soda, orange juice, and grapefruit juice.

Bottom line: Read the instructions that come with the medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Other Support
  1. Your state may have a toll-free telephone quitline. Call the quitline to get one-on-one help.
  2. Call the National Cancer Institute's Smoking Quitline at 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669). This number works anywhere in the U.S. You can get one-on-one help quitting. Or you can ask where to get help in your state.
  3. Visit the National Cancer Institute's smokefree.gov Web site at http://www.smokefree.gov. This Web site offers science-driven tools, information, and support that has helped smokers quit. You will find state and national resources, free materials, and quitting advice from the National Cancer Institute and its partners.
  4. More and more workplaces have help for workers who want to quit. Some offer quit-smoking clinics and support on the job. Others will pay for outside programs for their workers. Ask at work about the choices open to you.
  5. Your doctor may know about a quit-smoking program or support group near you.
Benefits of a Quit-smoking Program

You may want to try a quit-smoking program or support group to help you quit. These programs can work great if you're willing to commit to them.

How do quit-smoking programs and support groups work? They help smokers spot and cope with problems they have when trying to quit. The programs teach problem-solving and other coping skills. A quit-smoking program can help you quit for good by:

  • Helping you better understand why you smoke
  • Teaching you how to handle withdrawal and stress
  • Teaching you tips to help resist the urge to smoke
Steps to Take on Your Quit Day

Today's the day you start your smoke-free life! Remind your family and friends that today is your quit date. Ask them to support you during the first few days and weeks. They can help you through the rough spots.

  • Using your support program
  • Keep busy
  • Stay away from what tempts you
Using Your Support Program


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