Although surveys over the last 20 years show that the population of former smokers consistently outnumbers current smokers, there are still over 34 million American smokers today. This means, that this large percentage of the population is still at risk of smoking-related diseases.
These include chronic lung conditions—which Sofia has discussed here on the blog before—like pneumonia. If left untreated, pneumonia can cause swelling in the lungs thereby creating a serious impairment. Aside from pneumonia, smoking has been scientifically proven to cause other diseases like cancer even among those who are just exposed to second-hand smoke.
Sadly, despite the widely-publicized adverse effects of smoking, quitting is easier said than done. In fact, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) less than 10% of adult smokers succeed in quitting annually. If you or somebody you know is trying to effectively quit smoking, here are some methods that you can try to finally kick the habit:
1. Prescription Medications
For some smokers, the habit has become so ingrained in their lives that they need medication to break free of it. In these cases, doctors may choose to prescribe smoking cessation medications. As explained on MedlinePlus.gov, these medications do not contain any habit-forming ingredients.
Instead, these medicines work to lessen your tobacco cravings and reduce your withdrawal symptoms. Two of the most often prescribed smoking cessation medicines include Bupropion and Varenicline. Both medications are proven to reduce your chances of wanting tobacco or nicotine.
At the same time, they’re also said to make smoking seem less pleasurable. That said, though these medications are offered by doctors, many warn patients of possible side effects like dry mouth or depression. As such, it’s advised that you run through your patient history with your doctor first. By doing so, you can both better gauge if you’re at risk of side effects or not.
2. Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Also called NRT, nicotine replacement therapy is one of the smoking cessation methods endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In NRT, the body is gradually but continuously weaned off the addictive substance in tobacco.
This is done by replacing cigarettes with inhalers, sprays, or pouches that have nicotine but none of the other harmful components of a cigarette. Since NRT aims to break the nicotine dependence of smokers without triggering withdrawal symptoms, some of the most convenient methods include pouches. As shown on Prilla.com, nicotine pouches are discreet and easy to use.
This way, smokers can easily get their dose without needing to chew gum or pull out a spray. What’s more, pouches can even be purchased online without a prescription, making them easier to acquire. According to studies, steady using NRT products on a regular basis can almost double the chances of successfully quitting smoking.
3. Hypnosis Therapy
There are various hypnosis methods that claim to help smokers quit. Some approaches include treating the subconscious reasons behind smoking like boredom. Other approaches include breaking the thought patterns that associate smoking as a positive past-time.
One of the more popular versions of smoking hypnotherapy is called the Spiegel method. In this approach, the hypnotherapist makes suggestions that smoking is bad while also presenting alternatives to smoking. Because hypnosis has to do with the mind’s underlying impulses, the most trustworthy hypnotherapists are usually licensed therapists themselves.
To date, research from the Cochrane Library indicates that further studies are required to prove the impact of hypnosis on smoking cessation. That said, many analysts do believe that if a more detailed control study can be observed on smoking hypnotherapy it may prove this method’s efficacy.
4. Acupuncture and Cold Laser Therapy
Both acupuncture and cold laser therapy allegedly inhibit the craving to smoke by hitting pressure points in the body. While the former traditionally uses fine needles, the latter uses low-level lasers. Following the tenets of Chinese alternative medicine, both these approaches target areas of the ear. Admittedly, there is no hard proof that either of these therapies works successfully among those hoping to quit smoking.
That being the case, there are also many cases in which patients claim that they were able to stop smoking after a few sessions. Since neither of these treatments are acknowledged by the FDA, it’s best to seek the services of an experienced acupuncturist since this treatment has more years of data and experience to back it up.
At the end of the day, there is no one right way to quit smoking. Instead, evidence suggests that smoking cessation is more successful if treated like a multi-step program. By consistently practicing different techniques and methods, smokers are more likely to shake the habit for good.
For more on general wellness and lifestyle tips, please visit the blog at WorldHealthLife.com.