Quitting Smoking - Planning Your Strategy to Quit
4. Get and use medicine
The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) has approved several medicines to help people quit
smoking. You will double your chances of quitting even
if medicine is the only treatment you use to quit. Your odds get even better
when you combine medicine and other quit strategies, such as
You won't have to take
medicines forever—just for as long as it takes to help you quit. Your employer
or health plan may help pay the cost of a quit-smoking program or provide help
to pay for medicines. And remember that no matter how much it costs to buy
medicines to help you stop smoking, it's still less than the
cost of smoking.
- Nicotine replacement therapy. This
includes nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, and inhalers. You can buy gum,
patches, and lozenges without a prescription.
- Bupropion SR (Zyban). This is a non-nicotine
prescription medicine that reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
- Varenicline (Chantix). This prescription medicine
helps withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and it reduces the pleasure you feel from
Quitting Smoking: Should I Use Medicine?
medicines and using telephone or in-person counseling or a quit-smoking program
at the same time greatly increases your chances of success.
5. Be prepared for relapse
Most people are not
successful the first few times they try to quit smoking. If you start smoking
again, don't feel bad about yourself. A slip or relapse is just a sign that you
need to change your approach to quitting.
A slip of just one or two cigarettes can lead back to regular smoking, but many smokers can get back to not smoking by changing their plan. For example, they may add counseling or a medicine. Or they may talk to a friend who used to smoke. Make a list of things you learned. And think about when you want to try again, such as next week, next month, or
next spring. Or you don't have to wait. If you're still motivated to quit, you
can try again as soon as you want.
You might get some ideas for
things you can do differently by looking at "Prepare for roadblocks"
Thinking About Quitting? section. Maybe you can try something
new next time, such as a new medicine or type of counseling. You might try combining
tools, such as counseling and medicine. Keep trying, and don't be fooled into
thinking that smoking "light" cigarettes will help. They do not make smoking