Quit Smoking (cont.)
There are medicines that can help with feelings of withdrawal:
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.
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.
This medicine isn't right for:
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?
Bottom line: Read the instructions that come with the medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.Other Support
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:
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.
If you decided to use a support program, use it fully. Go to the sessions. Call your telephone quitline. Visit your Internet site. The more support you get, the more likely you will quit for good.
Are you using medicine to help you quit? If so, follow the directions. If you don't, you're more likely to go back to smoking. Also, don't rush to stop using the medicine. Stick with it for at least 12 weeks. Or follow your doctor's advice.Keep Busy
Remember: The urge to smoke will come and go. Try to wait it out. Or look at the plan you made last week. You wrote down steps to take at a time like this. Try them! You can also try these tips:
Find New Things To DoStarting today you may want to create some new habits. Here are some things you might try:
Set aside time for the activities that satisfy you and mean the most to you. There are natural breaks even during a busy day. After dinner, first thing in the morning, or just before bed are good examples. You'll also need plenty of rest while you get used to your smoke-free lifestyle.
Remember the Instant Rewards of QuittingYour body begins to heal within 20 minutes after your last cigarette. The poison gas and nicotine start to leave your body. Your pulse rate goes back to normal. The oxygen in your blood rises to a normal level.
Within a few days you may notice other things:
The nicotine leaves your body within three days. Your body starts to repair itself. At first, you may feel worse instead of better.
Withdrawal feelings can be hard. But they are a sign that your body is healing.
Finally...the Long-term Rewards of QuittingTobacco use in the United States causes more than 450,000 deaths each year. Of those deaths, 170,000 are from cancer.
After you've quit, you've added healthy, full days to each year of your life. You've greatly lowered your risk of death from lung cancer and other diseases including:
You've also cut back on dangerous second-hand smoke for your loved ones. Finally, by quitting smoking, you're setting a good example. You're showing young people that a life without cigarettes is a longer, healthier, happier life.
Not everyone has feelings of withdrawal. You may have one or many of these problems. And they may last different amounts of time. The medicines described in this guide can help.
Many ex-smokers had to try stopping many times before they finally succeeded. When people slip up, it's usually within the first three months after quitting. Here's what you can do if this happens:
Keeping Your Guard UpYour body has changed since you began to smoke. Your brain has learned to crave nicotine. So certain places, people, or events can trigger a strong urge to smoke, even years after quitting. That's why you should never take a puff again, no matter how long it has been since you quit.
At first, you may not be able to do things as well as when you were smoking. Don't worry. This won't last long. Your mind and body just need to get used to being without nicotine.
After you've quit, the urge to smoke often hits at the same times. For many people, the hardest place to resist the urge is at home. And many urges hit when someone else is smoking nearby. Look at your Craving Journal to see when you might be tempted. Then use the skills you've learned to get through your urges without smoking.Fighting The Urges
Review the tips in this guide to help you fight the urge to smoke. These tips are meant to help you stay a non-smoker.Staying Upbeat
As you go through the first days and weeks without smoking, keep a positive outlook. Don't blame or punish yourself if you do have a cigarette. Don't think of smoking as "all or none." Instead, take it one day at a time. Remember that quitting is a learning process.
Keep Rewarding Yourself For Not SmokingNow that you aren't buying cigarettes, you probably have more spending money. For example, if you used to smoke one pack per day:
* Prices are based on a 2001 average of $5.00 per pack. The cost of a pack of cigarettes may differ, depending on where you buy them.
Think about starting a "money jar" if you haven't already. Put your cigarette money aside for each day you don't smoke. Soon you'll have enough money to buy a reward for yourself.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Reducing Tobacco Use: A Report of the Surgeon General. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph 10: Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke. National Cancer Institute, August 1999, NRT Product User's Guides. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Pittsburgh, PA, 2002, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Ed. (1994). American Psychiatric Association. Washington, D.C.
Last Editorial Review: 8/29/2005
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