One of the most important steps in planning a good quit is making the decision on how you will do so. Given the diverse range of quit smoking methods available, finding the best method to quit smoking, for you, is not always a simple task.
Unfortunately, the decision is made even more difficult when you consider the quit smoking community’s obsession with pitching cessation methods against each other. When considering quit smoking methods, it is important to remember that every nicotine addict is different and every quitter has different needs.
- Some people smoke more than others.
- Some people experience stronger withdrawals than others.
- Some people will suffer more intense mood swings than others.
- Some people can afford to take more time off to heal than others.
- Some people have more triggers than others.
- Some people have a more difficult environment or situation to contend with than others…
There is simply no such thing as a “one glove fits all,” approach to quitting smoking. So, to help find the best method to quit smoking for you, let’s look at some of the negative costs and positive returns for each of the major methods.
It is important to remember that every nicotine addict is different and every quitter has different needs.
Presently, cold turkey is the most commonly used quit smoking method among successful quitters. It is also the benchmark for all quit smoking aids.
- Cold turkey is by far the quickest way to break the chemical dependency to nicotine.
- Most cold turkey quitters overcome the worst elements of nicotine addiction during their first week or two and are well and truly in control of their heal by around week six.
- By week twelve, most cold turkey quitters will start feeling more comfortable in their life without cigarettes and be solely focused on healing areas of the brain corrupted with the habits created by addiction.
- As far as methods go, there is also no financial cost to a cold turkey quit.
- Physically and mentally, cold turkey is the most intense method to quit.
- All of the major withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine addiction are dialed to 100 during the first few days of quitting.
- Cold Turkey requires the highest degree of focus and attention. (For the shortest time.)
- Cold turkey has potentially the highest risk of relapse during early stages of quitting.
- Cold Turkey has potentially the highest level of impact on everyday life and activities during the early stages. It will also render some users unable to function as normal during the first few days.
For those heavily addicted, if you have the flexibility to get a few days off work and perhaps isolate yourself from the outside world, cold turkey is still well and truly worth considering.
The more solid your plan and commitment to get through the first few weeks, one day, one hour and one challenge at a time, the more powerful a solution cold turkey becomes.
Of course, the less intense your addiction and withdrawal symptoms, the easier this method also becomes.
Further Reading: Quit Smoking Cold Turkey.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), is one of the most heavily advertised quit smoking methods on the market. Most state sponsored programs promote NRT as their number one method for quitting.
- NRT significantly reduces the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, including nicotine cravings when quitting.
- NRT offers a diverse range of solutions, allowing quitters to break down individual elements of their quit step by step and in accordance with a set program.
- NRT may make it easier for heavy addicts who do not have the flexibility to take time out from their normal everyday life to focus on a cold turkey quit.
- NRT may make it easier for heavy addicts who do not feel cold turkey is a solution for them.
- NRT programs can give some addicts more control over their quit.
- NRT products come with their own various side effects such as intense dreams and headaches.
- NRT products are generally unpleasant. Patches can become itchy and irritate the skin, while gum tends to taste foul.
- NRT prolongs the chemical dependency to nicotine. While potentially reducing the odds of relapse during the early stages, it may potentially increase the odds of relapse over the longer term, especially if the NRT program is disrupted.
- NRT costs money.
NRT is a genuine solution for some smokers, though success over the chemical dependency does require a longer term commitment and strict adherence to the program guidelines.
Further Reading: Quit Smoking Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
Champix / Chantix.
Prescribed medication has come along way when it comes to beating nicotine addiction. Varenicline, the drug marketed as Champix and Chantix , is to date, the most successful medication available. There are currently more advanced vaccines in trial.
- Prescribed medication is nicotine free.
- Prescribed medication can be easier to manage than NRT, in that it is only taken a small amount of times per day.
- Drugs such as Champix/Chantix are highly effective at reducing cravings and easing the withdrawal process.
- Prescribed medication may make it easier for heavy addicts who do not feel a complete cold turkey quit is a solution for them.
- There is no free ride when it comes to medication, prescribed drugs always come with significant side effects.
- Users suffering depression or mental disorders may find symptoms associated with such conditions worsen. This can also be attributed to the act of quitting smoking.
- Requires a very strict adherence to program guidelines.
- Can be very expensive.
Prescribed medication must be used responsibly, as directed and with common sense. Nicotine addicts are more prone to depression and suicide than non smokers, so ensure contact with the prescribing physician is open and honest.
Further Reading: Quit Smoking Using Prescribed Medication.
Hypnotherapy is an effective way to quit for those susceptible to hypnosis.
- Hypnosis can dramatically influence a persons ability to quit if they are susceptible.
- Reduces cravings and withdrawals.
- Available via one on one therapy or downloadable audio visual programs.
- Success is determined by a persons ability to be hypnotized.
- Can be expensive.
Further Reading: Quit Smoking Using Hypnotherapy.