There are dozens of “quit smoking” aids available, from nicotine replacement products and medications to tobacco free dip and everything in between, but which ones are the most effective? The truth is, your quitting method is only as effective as your willpower to quit. If you want to be cigarette-free, you’re going to need a lot of discipline to make it through the quitting process.
Don’t let that scare you, though. Thousands of people quit their tobacco habit every year, and some don’t even use any products, apps, or support groups. Whether you’re a cold-turkey quitter or someone who needs all the help they can get, we put together this short guide on the most effective ways to quit smoking.
To be clear, tobaccoless alternatives and things like e-cigarettes are replacements for cigarettes. They still contain nicotine, but you will be free of the harmful chemicals and additives that make cigarettes so dangerous. Did you know that just one cigarette can be home to about 7,000 chemicals? Many of these chemicals are toxic to humans, and some are known to cause various cancers and other complications.
E-cigarettes, or vapes, have become increasingly popular over the past decade or so. Now, there’s a vaping shop every few blocks, and everyone seems to be using the pocket-sized devices. E-cigarettes work with “juice”, which is just a liquid concoction that’s heated into aerosol form and inhaled through the device.
The juice still contains nicotine and several other ingredients, but it contains fewer toxins than a single cigarette. Many smokers opt for e-cigarettes because they smell better, taste better, and are often advertised as a “healthy” alternative to smoking. E-cigarettes might not contain the same chemicals as cigarettes, but that doesn’t necessarily make them “healthier”.
Inhaling anything other than oxygen into your lungs can potentially cause damage and put you at risk for developing cancer and other complications. Sometimes, the best thing to do is quit inhaling anything into your lungs that isn’t fresh, clean air.
Chantix is a prescription medication that’s used to help curb nicotine cravings and get smokers to stop once and for all, and it’s quite effective. In fact, nearly half of all smokers who use Chantix either quit smoking altogether or significantly reduce their cigarette consumption.
Smokers will take two pills on a daily basis for about 12 to 24 weeks, depending on the patient. Chantix works by attaching itself to the nicotine receptors in your brain, thus blocking them from nicotine itself. Dopamine, which is also released when you smoke, is still released with Chantix, so you’ll get a “feel good” sensation without cigarettes.
Chantix has a high success rate but requires a prescription to use. This shouldn’t be difficult to obtain if you’re a frequent smoker. Simply let your doctor know that you intend to give up smoking for good and might need a little help.
Nicotine replacement products provide a small dose of nicotine to the brain in order to ween you off of the substance altogether. These come in the form of nasal sprays, patches, gum, lozenges, and inhalers. Nicotine replacement therapy has been found to be effective in light and heavy smokers alike, but everyone reacts differently.
Some people experience much more intense side-effects from reduced nicotine consumption, while others remain relatively comfortable. The great thing about things like patches and gums is that they’re readily available and affordable. If you’re thinking of putting down the habit for good, this might be a good option.
Smokers have also turned to CBD oils to help them beat their habit. CBD is known to reduce anxiety and may even be able to help treat addiction; though more research is needed to produce conclusive results.
Most smokers find that quitting entirely alone is nearly impossible. The support of friends, family, or a dedicated support group is crucial during the cessation process. Why? Because breaking a nicotine addiction is hard; maybe one of the hardest things you’ll ever do! No one can do everything alone, and utilizing a support system increases your chances of success.
Support groups exist both on and offline, with thousands of forums, cessation apps, and community websites on the internet. If you look around, you’ll probably find dozens of local support groups as well, where you can meet like-minded people and get the support you need to be smoke-free for good.
Surprisingly, many people find success quitting cold turkey. This means putting the cigarettes down for good on a specific date and never looking back. This method certainly isn’t for everyone, but it does work.
Quitting cold turkey is putting your foot down against your addiction. You’re saying no to something that’s destroying your life and yes to a brighter, healthier future; and we think that’s worth celebrating.