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4 Tips to Quit Smoking

Jan2018image004According to a Centers for Disease Control study, nearly 70 percent of current adult smokers have expressed interest in quitting. Additional studies, such as one published in British Medical Journal, have also demonstrated that individuals who have attempted to stop multiple times have a greater chance of quitting in the long-term. When attempting to stop smoking it is beneficial for individuals to consider the following aspects:

Understand the Reasons for Quitting

Individuals quit for a variety of reasons ranging from health to lifestyle to financial purposes. It’s essential to understand the reason of motivation behind the decision to quit. For instance, if an individual is health conscious, it can strengthen their motivation to remember that smoking is “the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States,” with a mortality rate of 480,000 per year.

Approach Oneself with Kindness

Smoking cessation can be a challenge due to the highly addictive nature of nicotine contained in cigarettes. Those who are addicted to the substance often experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop. Although these symptoms make quitting a greater challenge, they are temporary and will dissipate over time. It’s important to encourage oneself when attempting to quit, as it may take a few tries before achieving success.

Leverage Smoking Cessation Products

There are various smoking cessation products that can greatly aid in quitting, including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) which provides controlled amounts of nicotine that help reduce withdrawal symptoms as well as cravings. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “has approved two types of prescription NRT products,” including a nicotine nasal spray and an inhaler.

There are also three FDA-approved over-the-counter nicotine products available: gum, a transdermal patch and lozenges. Although each product varies in effectiveness, they have been shown to double the chances of successfully quitting.

Take Advantage of Other Free Resources

Those who are considering quitting, or have attempted in the past but failed, should take advantage of free resources that are available. The National Cancer Institute provides those attempting to quit with “text message programs that can send tips and encouraging words.” A mobile app is also available that can track smoking triggers to help individuals learn to avoid them. Further, the National Cancer Institute has trained cessation coaches that can be contacted via online chats and phone to ensure individuals are empowered with an array of impactful tools.

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