People who have successfully quit smoking claim to have done so through sheer will and determination. They claim that if you aren’t ready to commit to kicking the habit, no aid or substitute will work. Further, they say that sometimes, the will if strong enough is enough.
Experts, however, disagree, claiming that will and determination will never be enough and is, in fact, dangerous as it can even lead one to relapse and go back to the habit. This practice of relying solely on the will is also known as “Cold turkey” – the term used to describe quitting smoking without any aids. Experts claim that with this method, majority of the nicotine is already flushed out of a person’s body within a few days. Although this sounds promising, the discomfort and cravings brought about by quitting this way is very intense. As such, the long term success rate for people who quit smoking cold turkey is only around 5%. Experts don’t recommend cold turkey because it doesn’t actually help you with your psychological dependence on smoking. Instead, experts recommend a more effective way of quitting which is quitting with aids.
The following are the most popular aids used by smokers who want to kick the habit:
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRTs come in skin patches, inhalers, nasal sprays, gums, and lozenges. Several studies have already shown how effective NRT in relieving cravings. Its effectivity is attributed to the steady level of nicotine without peaks. Thus the habit of puffing is removed, and at the same time, the craving is satisfied sufficiently. It is however advised to gradual lessen NRTs and to avoid using this for a long time.
- Nicotine Free Prescription Medications
Medications work thru blocking the brain chemicals that dictate smoking is pleasurable. The usuals are bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix). These medications are claimed to have about 40% success rate when paired with nicotine replacement therapy.
- Cigarette Substitutes
Substitutes or alternatives to cigarette such as vaping and electronic cigarettes are not exactly called quit aids. This is because there is yet to be a doctor-devised and approved quit plan to go with these alternatives. However, a lot of people are already using e-cigarettes and vapes to help them quit smoking.
E-cigarettes vaporize liquid nicotine, so they still deliver said drug to your body. The difference, however, is it is done directly instead of burning tobacco and creating tar. Tar, when absorbed by the lungs, can cause lung cells to die. This is why e-cigarettes are said to be safer than actual cig smoking.
Vaping, on the other hand, is the act of inhaling and exhaling water vapor that is produced by an electric device called vaporizer. Although there are different types of vapes, all of them allow control of nicotine intake. That way, one can gradually scale down until able to quit smoking completely. The best part perhaps is that one can choose from different bizarre but enticing flavors such as cherry, raspberry and bubble gum, which are all, time favorites and said to smell fruity and sweet.
- Quit Smoking Apps
This is perhaps the most modern form of aid to quit smoking nowadays. Aside from giving daily tips and advice to keep cravings at bay, most apps also help track your progress in quitting. It may not sound a lot, but seeing how long you’ve been smoke-free and how many days you’ve succeeded since quitting can be immensely rewarding. The apps can help make the day-to-day struggle of quitting manageable as you reach your end goal of becoming completely smoke-free.
The most effective and loved among the apps are MyQuit Coach and Kwit perhaps because they are user-friendly and FREE. While another popular app Butt Out is also popular but can cost up to $7.