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Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

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At Last, Quit Smoking for Good

7 tips for quitting cigarettes -- no matter how many times you’ve tried before.

3. Remove Smoking Triggers

A smoking trigger is anything your brain has connected with smoking. Everyone’s smoking triggers are different. Your smoking trigger may be the smell of cigarette smoke, your morning coffee, or spotting an ashtray.

Wolfenden suggests removing tobacco from the house, porch, and car. “People should talk with their families about getting cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters out of the house. Remove anything that reminds them of smoking.”

4. Try Nicotine Replacements

“Nicotine replacements are medications that reduce a person’s craving for smoking,” says Neil Schachter, MD. Schachter is professor of pulmonary medicine and medical director of the respiratory care department at Mount Sinai Center in New York. Nicotine replacement treatments (NRT), he says, include nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, and lozenges.

The replacement therapy works by putting nicotine in your system without the buzz that comes with smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy does not provide the same sensation as a cigarette. However, the treatments supply enough nicotine to halt withdrawal symptoms.

Chances for success are higher for those who use stop smoking aids, Schachter says. “Up to 50% of people who use nicotine replacement will stop smoking.”

Schachter recommends combining nicotine replacement products with other stop smoking measures. This may include group therapy or smoking cessation groups. “Once former smokers have gotten away from cigarettes, they can be weaned off the amount of nicotine in the replacement medication.”

If you want to try over-the-counter nicotine replacements, Schachter suggests getting professional advice first. Talk with your doctor or a support group. You can call the American Lung Association or the American Cancer Society to find out more and locate a group near you.

5. Ask About Drugs Approved by the FDA for Helping Smokers Quit

Schachter says there are two approved drugs available that can help people quit smoking. The first is Zyban. It’s also known as the antidepressant Wellbutrin. Zyban helps some people quit smoking by reducing nicotine cravings. It may also curb your appetite.

Schachter tells WebMD that Zyban was first used in inpatient psychiatric services. “Doctors noticed that patients with anxiety and depression who took Wellbutrin were able to quit smoking.” Today, Zyban is approved by the FDA as a prescription drug for smoking cessation.

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