I know there is a lot of information on this blog, so I like to summarize the content where I can to make it easier for you to remember and apply.
In this post, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the most common methods to quit smoking with the main pros and cons for each. I wanted to include success rates for each one too but it’s near impossible to get data that isn’t biased in some way, so common sense, and the truth (as always) is the best judge.
1) E-cigarettes and Vaporisers
Both of these work in the same way to deliver a dose of nicotine in a vapour that you inhale. You smoke it like a conventional cigarette.
Pros: E-cigarettes are safer than smoking real cigarettes as you are not burning any tobacco. They can wean you off nicotine, and reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke to make it easier eventually quit.
Cons: There isn’t any formal regulation of the liquid and nicotine used in these devices, some say the nicotine is highly addictive. No long term trials have been carried out to determine their effects on health. They keep the hand to mouth smoking habit in place. May not be cheap depending on how long you use the e-cigarette.
2) Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs)
These include nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, mouth spray, nasal spray, the inhalator and strips.
Pros: They can help you with nicotine withdrawal symptoms, reduce the amount of cigarettes you smoke, and slowly wean you off nicotine to eventually quit.
Cons: They can prolong the nicotine addiction longer than necessary… by going cold turkey you can rid the body of nicotine in just 48 hours. Not cheap but depends on which method you use and for how long.
3) Cold turkey
Quitting smoking without any aids.
Pros: It is completely natural. It forces you to face the habit head on without aids, which you would have to do sooner or later. It has worked for a lot of people and it costs nothing.
Cons: It may not be for everyone, especially the less disciplined. However, local health services do offer free counseling and support to quit smoking that will help.
4) Counseling and support
A free support service from a local health service dedicated to help people quit smoking. They provide advice on the most suitable quit smoking aids, support groups with other smokers to join, and online resources/communities that you can use or join.
Pros (for counseling and support alone): It is free. Quitting as part of a group helps because of the peer pressure. Counseling is usually recommended with other quit smoking aids especially medications so it does work.
Cons: Counseling and support may not be enough on its own for some without a quit smoking aid.
Hypnotherapy works by changing your currents thoughts, beliefs, and feelings around smoking so you want to quit.
Pros: It is safe, natural, with no side effects and deals with changing the mindset (very important).
Cons: Doesn’t work for everyone… this depends on how easily you accept what is suggested. Sessions can be quite expensive even if you don’t require many. No real proof as to how effective it is to help people quit smoking.
6) Medications- Zyban and Chantix
Both of these medications reduce nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms, but not in the same way as nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs).
Pros: Great for those that want the “magic pill” to stop smoking.
Cons: Side effects for both are worrying… some are quite serious. Not cheap if your local health service doesn’t cover some (or all) the cost, counseling is needed when using both that is also charged for. Long term success rates for both are questionable.
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