You are learning new thinking patterns that will be helpful in the rest of your life. Don't try to diet while quitting smoking. Too much deprivation is bound to backfire. Instead, try eating more fruits and vegetables. You probably tend to disqualify the positives and focus on the negatives. Reinforce your victories. Nicotine replacement therapy NRT helps reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms that many smokers say is their main reason for not quitting. Nicotine replacement therapy increases the rate of quitting by 50 to 70 percent 4.
Nicotine replacement therapy is not a substitute for coping strategies. It deals with the physical addiction to nicotine, but does not deal with the behavioral or psychological addiction to smoking. So some sort of smoking cessation program and strategy is still important. Some people may not be able to use nicotine replacement therapy because of allergies or other conditions. You should always consult your physician when making decisions about your health. There are three broad categories of nicotine replacement therapy: nicotine that is absorbed through the skin, mouth, and airways.
Here are some important points to help you decide:. The nicotine patch is convenient because it provides long term relief from nicotine withdrawal, and you only have to think about it once a day. The nicotine patch is the most studied type of nicotine replacement therapy, and significantly increases your chances of success by 50 to 70 percent. Nicotine lozenges and nicotine gum provide short term relief from nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
They also help deal with oral cravings that a nicotine patch cannot. The most effective smoking cessation combination is a nicotine patch for long term relief, and nicotine lozenges for breakthrough carvings. The nicotine in lozenges and gum is absorbed through the inner surface of your mouth rather than through your stomach.
Food and drinks can affect how the nicotine is absorbed. Most people find nicotine lozenges easier to use than nicotine gum.
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Nicotine gum can stick to dental work. How do you use nicotine lozenges? Suck on a lozenge until it is fully dissolved, about 20 to 30 minutes. Do not bite or chew it like hard candy, and do not swallow it. How do you use nicotine gum? Chew the gum slowly until you get a peppery taste or tingle in your mouth.
Then hold it inside your cheek park it until the taste fades. Then chew it again to get the tingle back, and park it again. Nicotine inhalers and nasal sprays are the most fast acting of all nicotine replacement methods. But because they work so quickly they have a higher risk of becoming addictive. However, if they feel they need to continue using the product for longer in order to quit, it is safe to do so in most cases. In other words, follow the instructions, but it is reasonable to use the patch for up to 5 months, if you have the approval of your health care professional.
In my experience, most people relapse when they taper down too quickly from the full strength 21 mg patch to the 14 mg patch. Yes, if you use nicotine replacement therapy incorrectly. Speak to your health professional about the correct way to use it.
If you experience any of these symptoms call your doctor. More serious symptoms of nicotine overdose or nicotine poisoning include:. Call Poison Control and get emergency help if you suspect nicotine overdose or nicotine poisoning. Nicotine replacement therapy is considered safe for smokers with a history of cardiovascular disease. It does not increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes in smokers with a history of cardiovascular disease.
There is not enough evidence to be absolutely sure that nicotine replacement therapy is safe for pregnant women. There are prescription drugs that can help you quit. Some can be used along with nicotine replacement therapy. Most have to be started before your planned quit day, and all need a prescription. Zyban Wellbutrin, bupropion is a prescription antidepressant that was later discovered to reduce nicotine cravings and help people quit smoking. It does not contain nicotine. It acts on chemicals in the brain that cause nicotine cravings. Large scale studies have shown that Zyban is at least as effective as nicotine replacement therapy in smoking cessation.
Zyban works best if you start it 1 to 2 weeks before you quit smoking. The usual dosage is mg tablets once or twice per day. Your doctor may want to continue it for 8 to 12 weeks after you quit smoking to help reduce the chance of relapse. The most common side effects include : dry mouth, trouble sleeping, agitation, irritability, indigestion, and headaches. Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicide in persons younger than When prescribed for smoking cessation, there have been four suicides per one million prescriptions and one case of suicidal ideation per ten thousand prescriptions.
Combining Zyban and nicotine replacement therapy, is usually more effective than either treatment alone. These can be uncomfortable, but they are temporary - most symptoms will be gone after a month. Cravings for nicotine can start 30 minutes after your last cigarette. This varies depending on how much you smoked and how long for. The cravings peak in 2 to 3 days and usually pass after 3 to 5 minutes.
You should stop getting them altogether after 4 to 6 weeks. You can also confuse cravings for food with cravings for nicotine and vice versa. You may have low moods or increased irritability and anxiety when you give up smoking. These feelings are temporary and get better within about 4 weeks. This can take 2 to 3 weeks to settle.
Try to reduce caffeine tea, coffee, cola. Exercise can help too. Relax before bedtime with a book or a bath. Your energy might increase after stopping smoking. This is because more oxygen is getting into your bloodstream as the carbon monoxide has left your body. However, some people find they have less energy for a while.
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This is because the body stops producing adrenaline in response to nicotine. Fresh fruit, such as pineapple chunks, berries, melon, or other seasonal fruits will satisfy your sweet tooth if they're clean and ready to eat when you're looking for a snack. Doing so will probably leave you with low blood sugar, which will trigger the urge to smoke. It usually also leads to more snacking, which is something you'll want to avoid.
Aim to have three larger or five smaller meals per day, depending on your preference. Smoking depletes your body of nutrients, so give yourself a boost with the help of a multivitamin. This, combined with a good diet, will help you combat the fatigue that often occurs during nicotine withdrawal. A short walk every day, even as little as 15 minutes, can work wonders for beating back smoking urges and improving your mood.
Exercise releases endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones, so head out for a walk around the block once or twice a day. Water helps you flush residual toxins from smoking out of your body more quickly. It also works well as a craving buster , filling you up so you'll eat less. And since water is an important part of your diet regardless of your smoking status, staying hydrated will help you feel better overall, which will make it easier to manage withdrawal symptoms.
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You can try herbal teas or fruit juices, too, but limit coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol can negatively affect your mood and they are often associated with times when you would light up such as social engagements , so they can increase the urge to smoke. If you spend a lot of time driving, have some items handy to help you pass the time in the car more comfortably.
Drink some of that water we just talked about while you're driving and keep a bottle or two in the car at all times. Also, store a bag of hard candies and lollipops in the glove compartment and have some straws or cinnamon sticks available to chew on to help fight cravings. Cravings usually hit fast and with force. They're strongest at the start and fade in intensity within three to five minutes. Try not to panic when you get a craving to smoke. Take a few moments to concentrate on your breathing. Close your eyes, if possible, and breathe in and out slowly.
Let the craving wash over you like a wave while you focus on your breathing.
Quitting Smoking: Help for Cravings and Tough Situations
What you choose to pay attention to has a habit of growing. Don't let thoughts of smoking run unchecked through your mind. Instead, nip them in the bud by identifying them and taking action to change your mindset.