I’ve written a lot of content on the most common methods to quit smoking- e-cigarettes, nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), prescription drugs like Zyban and Chantix, hypnotherapy and counseling and support. And those are just the most promoted methods.
It’s difficult to recommend one of these methods to quit smoking because the success rates are questionable. Some people (usually the biased) say they have a high success rate, while others say they do not. And there isn’t enough strong evidence from long term comprehensive trials that help you to give them credit either. Some scientists say they work others say they don’t.
It is also difficult to determine how much of the success rate you can attribute to a particular aid. For instance with Zyban and Chantix, users are also advised to take counseling and support to help them quit. So how do we know if it’s the actual counseling that is the main factor for smokers being able to quit rather than drug itself?
Another factor to consider is the placebo effect. If you use any of the above aids and find you are able to quit, how can we measure whether it is the actual aid that did it, and not a placebo effect? Trials have been carried out where placebos have been measured against the real thing. But many trials don’t measure the placebo effect.
Another important thing to remember is how can we be sure what’s in certain aids. Zyban and Chantix have side effects some quite serious, the chemicals used in e-cigarettes aren’t regulated and no long terms trials have been carried out to determine their long term effects on our health. The success rates of NRTs vary from study to study. Long term success rates over 12 months for all these methods are also questionable.
How do you know which quit smoking method is the most effective?
The best way you can determine what really contributes to the actual result of quitting smoking is the process of elimination. If you can eliminate the things you are unsure of i.e. aids like NRTs, e-cigarettes, Zyban, Chantix, and focus on a natural way to quit smoking, that would really help.
Which Method Would I Recommend to Quit Smoking?
Try quitting cold turkey, this way you aren’t putting any potentially harmful chemicals or drugs in your body.With cold turkey, you are also facing the psychological issues around how you see smoking and quitting without any placebos which can distort the bigger picture i.e. what really is effective to quit smoking.Quitting without an aid is something you will have to face sooner or later. You won’t be able to use NRTs, e-cigarettes, Zyban or Chantix forever. It may be hard at first but it’s better to experience this situation and how to deal with it sooner.
Other natural ways are using hypnotherapy (not cheap though) and free counseling and support from local health services. I recommend cold turkey however because it costs nothing and everyone quits smoking for different reasons, we know ourselves better than anyone, hence, we are our own best coach, and know what drives us most to quit smoking, and what works best for us.
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