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Resolve To Quit Smoking

  
  
  

pills 5 (modified)Many people make New Year's resolutions, with quitting smoking being high on the list.  One of the most common questions I get from people is: "What is the best way to quit smoking?"

While there is no simple answer to this question, one thing is for certain:  the greatest factor in quitting successfully is YOU.  You make your quit work. The most effective quit programs will capitalize on multiple tools: a quit medication (to help take the edge off of cravings and withdrawal), coping strategies, and support.

Using an FDA approved quit medication can potentially double (if not greater) your odds of quitting.  These include nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine patch, nicotine gum, nicotine lozenge, nicotine inhaler, and nicotine spray), Bupropion (Zyban, Wellbturin), and Varenicline (Chantix, Champix).  But like all medications, quit medications have both benefits and side effects to their use.  Also not all of these medications are available over-the-counter; some require a doctor's prescription.  Regardless of over-the-counter availablity, it's a good idea to let your doctor know that you are quitting. You and your doctor can come up with an effective and tailored quit plan that will be right for you.

Choosing a quit method involves taking into consideration different factors, including:

  1. Cost. Some medications are more expensive than others to use.  What fits into your budget?  Note: although the upfront costs of quitting may seem costly, in the long run, quitting is by far less costly in terms of cost of cigarettes, health, and work time lost.
  2. Convenience of use.  Quit methods come in a variety of forms (pill, patch, lozenge, gum), doses & frequency, and required skill of use (i.e. you have to "chew" and "park" the nicotine gum).  What method seems to best fit your lifestyle?  For example, if you have trouble remembering to take pills, maybe Wellbutrin or Varenicline are not the best options for you.
  3. Medical history.  Any medical conditions that might rule out the use of a quit method (unstable high blood pressure? uncontrolled diabetes? etc.)
  4. Nicotine dependence/use.  Do you light up regularly?  Or intermittently?  If you smoke regularly, you might consider using a method that provides more continual support (i.e. nicotine patch) VS a medication that can be used "as needed" (i.e. nicotine gum or nicotine lozenge).
  5. Interest. What are YOU interested in using?  Read up on various quit methods.  What appeals to you most?

Ultimately there is no perfect quit method.  There is only the perfect quit method for YOU.  Cheers to a happy, smoke-free New Year!

Liane

Master Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist

Comments

Thank you for this excellent article, Liane! It is full of very helpful information. Hugs, Pat
Posted @ Thursday, December 15, 2011 11:02 AM by Patoolla
I HAVE BEEN SMOKING FOR OVER 50 YEARS AND HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING SHORT OF HYPNOSIS TO QUIT AND WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM A PERSON WHO ACTUALLY SMOKED FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME AND QUIT NOT A COUNSLER WHO HAS NEVER SMOKED...
Posted @ Monday, January 02, 2012 8:39 AM by charlotte burch
Charlotte, thanks for your comment. If you click the Join Community button, you can get free access to thousands of ex-smokers at QuitNet.com. You won't ever have to talk to a counselor, either (though most of them are also ex-smokers), but can connect with others who are longtime quit, or just quitting now, 24x7. The support of others is what was usually missing from our previous attempts. Good luck, and Happy Smoke-Free New Year!
Posted @ Monday, January 02, 2012 10:36 AM by Alan Peters
My husband name is Dave, he is on the QuitNet program. Dispite his being a truck drive and away from home alot he is doing very well on the program. 
 
He is not conputer savy either. 
 
How ever we are in touch several times a day. We wish everyone all the best in their efforts. 
 
Dave & Gail
Posted @ Thursday, January 05, 2012 4:56 PM by gail
Gail, thanks so much for sharing your husband's experience! Congrats to Dave on making his quit work!  
 
Liane
Posted @ Thursday, January 05, 2012 8:20 PM by Liane
I just ask that someone pray with me to be strong willed enough to follow through this time. It is so urgent that I quit. I have COPD, and my grand children and they are the main reasons I want to and need to quit. I want to live longer and I want to live to see them grow up. God Bless Me to be able to be successful in my quit journey!
Posted @ Thursday, January 12, 2012 7:24 PM by Letoya
To Charlotte Burch; 
I know exactly how you feel! I smoked for almost 40 years and would read about a twenty year old that was trying to quit after a year of smoking. I had no sympathy for his or her plight as I was a hardcore smoker with a lifetime addiction. I am smoke-free today for 8 months. No one who knows me can believe I actually quit. I am the woman that everyone said would never quit, including me, I was such a heavy smoker. I quit with Champix and never could have done it without this drug. I should be a Sales rep for this drug, I am so amazed by how it helped me.  
I still want a cigarette once in a while, but as they say on Quitnet, it always passes after a few minutes. I am healthier and happier now than I have ever been in my life. I had no idea that this is they way that people feel who do not smoke.  
Charlotte, give it a try. Maybe try the Champix. If it doesn't work, oh well, at least you tried.
Posted @ Saturday, January 21, 2012 12:53 PM by Maureen Jensen
I have been using the nicorette lozenges, on this quit and feel I finally found something that really worked for me. I am down to the final stages of my lozenges, and I am 106 days smoke free, more or less. Thank you quitnet for your support and in suppling me with the NRT. I would not and could not have done this myself. I have tried several other attempts using the patches, the inhalers, the pills and just plain cold turkey but nothing else worked for me like these lozenges. I pray this is it. No more cigarettes!!! yippee. Best of luck to everyone and hope you find the help you need to make a successful quit.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 24, 2012 8:07 AM by Kathleen Sanders
This is the second time I have tried to quit with Chantix. I believe I have done it. although thursday the 8th was the last day I had a cig. I know its still early in the quit but I do think this time is it. semmed easier this time. Five days before Qday. Good luck everyone.
Posted @ Saturday, March 10, 2012 2:19 PM by Tawnya
Hi,Tawnya, its my second ime with Chantix,too. Today is my 14td day since last cigarette.TO me, this second time seemed harder, but I did it! I also have a feeling that this is FINAL!!! Good luck!!
Posted @ Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:05 PM by mia100UT
broke my arm saturday. another chalenge to not start agian.
Posted @ Thursday, March 15, 2012 7:23 PM by Tawnya
I am now 5 mos. quit. I can't say quitting was good even though it was for my health. I had to be admitted in the hospital a week ago for a severe reoccurance of my COPD. I feel this was a way for my lungs to revolt from nicotine withdrawal. I was placed in ICU for 3 days cause my O2 level had dropped to 70%. Of course I was placed on oxygen which brought my O2 sat to 98% I am home now having to use O2 almost constantly. So the question is....was it a good thing to quit or NOT?? Who knows I'll never find out cause I have no choice but to continue my quit.
Posted @ Friday, March 16, 2012 9:04 AM by Kathleen Sanders
Kathleen: I'm sorry to hear about the increase in your COPD flare-ups. Do not doubt that quitting is absolutely a good thing! Your body is healing, but progress will slower because of COPD. I want to encourage you to connect with others on the Q who have COPD and have gone through a similar experience! You are not alone! Congrats on your 5 months!
Posted @ Friday, March 16, 2012 11:55 AM by Liane
I am very poor despite the fact that I work hard. I am wondering if there is a way to get some help paying for one of these medications.
Posted @ Thursday, March 29, 2012 6:11 PM by Amy Cates
There are local state run programs that help people who are low income get the patch and gum. You can check your local health department or ask your doctor. As far as I know most states have them. Try smokefree.gov or quitnet
Posted @ Saturday, March 31, 2012 3:27 PM by Kewanna
Thanks, Kewanna! I was about to make the same suggestion! Amy, if you are a QuitNet member, login and click on the "resources tab" and "find a program near you." You can also post in the forums and see if peers in your area know of any resources! Good luck!
Posted @ Sunday, April 01, 2012 10:49 PM by Liane
I recently started Chantix but had a variety of side effects: nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea. 
The pulmonologist said to stop Chantix, so I'm on my own. Tried Bupropion, but that did not work.
Posted @ Saturday, April 07, 2012 3:42 PM by tim
I also tried Chantix. Quit for seven days, then slowly day by day, 1/2 smoke, 1/2 smoke, 1 smoke, 2 smokes. 3 smokes... Then I saw my doctor who told me that if I didn't quit smoking that she didn't want to see me any more. I feel betrayed, alone, and ripped off by the cost of Chantix. Maybe I needed a group/ network to keep in touch. I'm thinking of calling the pharmacist to see if they can take back my unopened box of Chantix which I paid &178 for. Has anyone tried this before?
Posted @ Tuesday, May 22, 2012 3:54 AM by Rhonda
Oh Rhonda, That's DREADFUL!!! I'm so sorry you are hurt. You can do this though... I quit with Chantix and today is my 25th smoke free day. I know it sounds cliche, but I use EVERY one of the redirection tactics of the quitters and professionals here. It's working!!!  
 
 
 
The most common thing I've done is chewing ice though... I know it's not good for my teeth, but it's better than smoke in my lungs... I let the ice melt a little and then use that instead of bringing a cigarette to my face. 
 
 
 
And whether you believe in God or Karma or whatever... prayer or positive thinking is really helpful... it's helping me tremendously. I will say a prayer for you as well Rhonda!!
Posted @ Tuesday, May 29, 2012 1:16 PM by Cara
I am using chantix and am down to 2/3 cigs per day. I've started drinking water when I feel desire. That works because it helps withmy weight loss program on MYFITNESSPAL.com. August 15th is my stop date! This is part of my decision to give me the GIFTof HEALTH, a GIFT FOR LIFE.
Posted @ Sunday, August 12, 2012 7:52 PM by Margaret
I am on my 2nd week of Chantix, and had my last smoke on day 7 at 10pm. I'm 5 days smoke free. The drug helps, but it's not a miracle. This is the hardest thing I will do in my entire life. It is an ADDICTION like no other. Chantix will work, but it will not work without your own will to want nothing more in life than to quit this nasty habit that will eventually take your life. 
 
 
 
Do I want to smoke? Yes, yes I do. I fight urges all day long, and I am constantly finding new ways to deal with them (last night I baked until 11pm and will be donating the goodies). Today I'm painting the ceilings in my house that are covered with the stains of smoking. 
 
 
 
Chantix will not take away the urges or triggers. It will help with mood, and help take the edge off. It will not magically make you never want to smoke again. 
 
 
 
It's only day 5 for me, and I pray I am able to keep the strength to continue fighting for the best and most important thing I will do for myself in my lifetime.
Posted @ Saturday, September 22, 2012 7:41 AM by Katie Arnold
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