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Smoking Cessation - Treatments to Stop Smoking

Those individuals that quit smoking on their own only succeed about one time in 20 because of the many withdrawal symptoms that individuals suffer. Some of the withdrawal symptoms are:

- Cravings to smoke
- Irritability
- Insomnia
- Fatigue
- Headache
- Cough
- Sore throat
- Dry mouth

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

According to the American Heart Association, nicotine replacement therapies are successful when used in smoking cessation programs. Nicotine replacement therapy is considered to be safe and is usually available in either nicotine gum or nicotine patches.

Nicotine Gum

Nicotine chewing gum provides a source of nicotine that reduces the withdrawal symptoms experienced when smoking is stopped. It also serves as a substitute to the physical act of smoking.

Nicotine gum should be chewed but not swallowed. Usually treatment is started by chewing one piece of gum every 1-2 hours at first, or whenever you have the urge to smoke. The gum should be chewed slowly until the nicotine can be felt or tingling is felt.

It is recommended to gradually reduce the amount of nicotine gum used after 2-3 months. Doing this will help prevent nicotine-withdrawal symptoms.

Nicotine Patches

Nicotine patches, which are available under several brand names as with nicotine gum, are designed to help quit smoking by reducing the craving for tobacco. Each adhesive patch contains a specific amount of nicotine embedded in a pad or gel.

Prescription Drugs

There are also in the market prescription drugs, approved by the FDA, that have been developed to help quit smoking. Some of these drugs are nicotine free and are available in capsules that are taken daily.

Some of the effects of these drugs are cutting the pleasure of smoking and reducing the withdrawal symptoms that lead smokers to start smoking again.

Counseling

Another treatment available to people that wish to stop smoking is counseling. This type of treatment is now included in Medicare and many health insurance plans.

Counseling sessions are usually performed one-on-one with a psychologist, nurse or counselor.

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