Based on research by Dr. Michael Fiore, a professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and founder of Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention: Review of 8,000 scientific articles in a meta-analytical on how to quit smoking.
1. Many have tried quitting cold turkey: waking up one day and just deciding to stop for their sake or the sake of a loved one. For some it is a choice they want to make and make it. Avoiding temptation, seeking a lot of help, maybe even saying a daily prayer: these are good ways of beginning the process of stopping to smoke.
2. If this has not worked and you are tired of trying, try one more time with this technique. You need more help: that is ok. Seek out the help you need: this is good for our humility.
Try the following: in any combination that works. Start with the first one, if it is not enough go to b, c, and then d if needed.
a. Set a quit date, the day you really want to stop cold turkey: no puffs at all; be realistic and tell your friends and those that really love you about your goal. Ask for help and ask that no one around you smokes or tempts you with cigarettes or alcohol during this time (drinking increases your risk of relapse).
a. nicotine gum: take as directed & see tips below
b. nicotine lozenge: take as directed & see tips below
c. nicotine patch: take as directed & see tips below
d. Prescription pills: Bupropion (Zyban) or Varenicline (Chantix): -recommended treatment time: 8wk-6mo
3. Call for help: Call a quit lines across America (1-800-QUIT-NOW). They will help you for free to give you coaching—one-on-one personalized, individualized coaching to help you to quit. And that has been shown to substantially quit rates.
Tips to help:
1. Take the gum on a more scheduled basis, a particular time throughout the day, and over a couple of weeks lengthen the time between pieces of the gum.
2. Cut the gum in half, and mix it with a piece of regular chewing gum.
3. Buy really spicy cinnamon gum like Big Red, and use that to substitute in between pieces of the Nicorette, and you get the same taste sensation that you’ve gotten used to, but you don’t get the hit of nicotine. You then increase the amount of spicy gum and decrease the amount of pieces of nicotine gum.
4. Most experts agree that extended use of the nicotine gum, lozenge, patch are not as harmful as cigarette smoke, by a large margin.
5. Practice coping strategies or plans before you quit. When you start to go through withdrawal, implement those plans to make it through those dangerous situations.
Don’t ever give up the goal of stopping to smoke! You can do it. Each day is a new day and a new chance to stop smoking.
I hope this helps you and your family. Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS