The New and Improved Ways to Quit Smoking for Good

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cigSmoking tobacco cigarettes is bad for you. Even toddlers can recite the long, long list of health detriments that tobacco products promise their users. Yet, the nicotine gum and patches that have been around for decades still aren’t effective at getting devoted smokers off cigarettes. Well, it’s 2014, and science has finally offered us a viable cure. Here’s a list of futuristic options to get you off your nicotine and on a real and reliable path to a tobacco-free life.

E-Community

With all of our new, 21st century technology, we have more ways than ever to communicate with those around us. Smokers are beginning to make use of this tech to encourage one another in their quitting journey. Smartphone apps that connect quitting smokers with one another allow smokers to receive motivation and reassurance every time they have a craving, no matter where or when the craving occurs. Unlike the help line service of the past, smokers can develop close friendships with fellow quitters, improving their likelihood of quitting.

E-Cigarettes

While the FDA and several states governments are still pondering regulations on vaporizers and e-cigarettes, the praise from the smoking community is making it clear that e-cigarettes are extremely helpful in weaning smokers off their nicotine.  The research continues to come in that e-cigs are a viable smoking cessation tool, and it’s easy to see why.

ecigE-cigs are able to strictly regulate the amount of nicotine in the inhaled vapor, meaning smokers can slowly decrease their nicotine intake as necessary, instead of depriving their bodies of the addictive compound cold-turkey.

Additionally, unlike patches and gum, e-cigs and vapes provide the experience of smoking — the warmth, the “smoke,” the physical cigarette-like object — so the smoker doesn’t miss the other comfortable habits that come with nicotine. Additionally, as more smokers abandon traditional cigarettes in favor of their electronic cousins, e-cig and vape manufacturers become more refined in their designs and better able to deliver the ideal smoking experience without all the nasty side effects of tobacco products.

Prescription Medications

Smokers with particularly ornery addictions sometimes need even more help to get them off their habit. Many prescription medications are available to smokers looking to quit nicotine for good, but the drugs differ in how and when smokers should begin the regimen. While many of these medications can be complemented by nicotine replacement therapies, like patches, gums, and e-cigarettes, be sure to verify with your doctor before mixing and matching treatments.

  • Zyban, Wellbutrin, Aplenzin. All three of these stop-smoking drugs (as well as the generic form, Bupropion) are anti-depressants, and though they don’t contain nicotine, they work to prevent nicotine cravings to reduce the likelihood of smoking relapse. Doctors recommend that smokers begin taking one of these drugs before their actual “Quit Day” to accustom the body to the chemicals. Though smokers usually kick the habit about 12 weeks after the drug regimen begins, doctors may have them continue taking the drug to prevent other nicotine withdrawal symptoms, like depression.
  • Chantix. This brand name and the generic Varenicline were developed specifically to help people stop smoking. The drug lessens the pleasure gained from smoking and diminishes the more severe withdrawal symptoms because it interferes with the nicotine receptors in the brain. By following doctors’ instructions and starting the medication a week before Quit Day, smokers can be twice as likely to end their addiction as without the prescription.
  • Clonidine. This is an older drug that was initially approved to treat high blood pressure, but it has been shown to assist smokers in kicking the habit. Clonidine is particularly beneficial to smokers who have had little success in their past quitting attempts. This drug regiment can begin up to three days before Quit Day, but you can begin taking it as soon as you put down your last cigarette as well.

Future Cures

Although they aren’t yet available to the public, breakthroughs in smoking cessation are occurring every year. Revolutionary ideas continue to influence the ways scientists think about nicotine addiction — some are even working to develop a nicotine vaccine to prevent the addiction from ever starting. While science progresses, smokers continue to benefit from the constantly improving cessation tools that help them kick the habit.

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