Smoking Cessation Patient Info
Smoking Cessation Treatment Options
Common Medications and Treatments to Aid in Smoking Cessation
Regardless of the treatment regimen that is selected by the individual and physician with a well-delineated protocol (usually lasting between 612 weeks), it is highly recommended that the patient also enroll in a behavioral modification program and enter a support group.
Further, it is recommended that the patient undergo therapy for 2 main reasons:
- While undergoing therapy, depression, anxiety, stress tension, suicidal tendencies and serious mood or psychological problems may manifest. Should this occur, antidepressants or anti-anxiety agents will be prescribed.
- The individual may have had difficulty coping with stress and may have used smoking as a coping mechanism. Now the person must face and deal with these life issues.
Blocks the high of addiction
Decreases withdrawal symptoms
Decreases craving for nicotine
Eases cravings by supplementing nicotine, which is decreased over time
Decreases urges to smoke
Relieves symptoms of nicotine addiction
Nicotine delivery system which decreases cravings; helps with habit of holding an object
Nicotine delivery system which decreases cravings and the urge to smoke
Lifestyle and Diet Changes
Studies show that norepinephrine and beta-endorphin, brain neurotransmitters, are released when nicotine is introduced into the system. This causes a short-lived mood elevator and stress-reliever.
By changing ones lifestyle to eliminate stress a smoker is less likely to get the urge to smoke.
In addition, a smoker greatly benefits by joining a support group that helps show better means of problem solving.
Changing your lifestyle to reduce stress not only helps with smoking cessation but also makes you happier and healthier (two great bonuses!)
Insertion of specialized small needles into energy channels just beneath the skin detoxifies the body and hastens healing. Acupuncture helps to eliminate nicotine withdrawal and also decrease the desire for nicotine.
Lobeline (the active ingredient in the herb lobelia) increases the brains level of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, in a similar way to nicotine. This may eliminate withdrawal and also elevate mood. However, lobelia is potentially toxic and cannot be used without supervision.
St Johns Wort, which is commonly used as an antidepressant, may help in smoking cessation and research studies are ongoing. However, it may interfere with medications being taken concurrently, including birth control pills.
Studies are ongoing for the use of ginseng to prevent nicotine-induced dopamine release.
Because it has been shown that smoking increases with stress exercising, which reduces stress will cause a decrease in desire. Additionally, exercise causes release of neurotransmitters, which evoke the sensation of pleasure and mimics the same sensation as nicotine.
Certain foods and beverages are associated with smoking habits for individuals such as lighting up when having a cup of coffee or with dessert after a meal. By eliminating these items from the diet, the brain is tricked into not getting the urge to smoke.
Additionally, by starting a diet and exercise program early in the smoking cessation program its less likely for a weight gain to occur from a decrease or lack of nicotine, which can be an appetite stimulant.
Written by Barbara Hales, M.D.
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