Everyday Tips to Quit Smoking
Easing Nicotine Withdrawal
The below provides a general overview on this topic and may not apply to everyone. Any treatment protocol should be discussed with a qualified healthcare practitioner ... Please refer to: Medical & Legal Disclaimer.
The Immediate and Long-term Benefits of Giving up Smoking
Giving up cigarettes dramatically reduces your risk of a heart attack, but few people are successful when they try to quit without help.
12 hours After Quitting:
- Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting:
- Your heart attack risk begins to drop.
- Your lung function begins to improve.
1 to 9 Months After Quitting:
- Your Coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
1 Year After Quitting:
- Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
5 to 15 Years After Quitting:
- Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker's.
- Stroke risk is reduced to that of a person who never smoked after 5 to 15 years of not smoking
- Cancers of the mouth, throat, and esophagus risks are halved 5 years after quitting
- Cancer of the larynx risk is reduced after quitting
- Coronary heart disease risk is cut by half 1 year after quitting and is nearly the same as someone who never smoked 15 years after quitting
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease risk of death is reduced after you quit Lung cancer risk drops by as much as half 10 years after quitting
- Ulcer risk drops after quitting
- Bladder cancer risk is halved a few years after quitting
- Peripheral artery disease goes down after quitting
- Cervical cancer risk is reduced a few years after quitting
- Low birth weight baby risk drops to normal if you quit before pregnancy or during your first trimester the benefits of quitting
- Set a quit date
- Change your environment
- Get rid of ALL cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of work.
- Don't allow people smoke in your home.
- Review your past attempts to quit. Think about what worked and what did not.
- Once you quit, don't smoke
Nicotine Replacement Products:
If you're trying to quit smoking, consider trying a nicotine replacement product that helps wean you off of the addictive substance in tobacco. There are a variety of nicotine replacement products, all of which deliver small, steady doses of the drug into the body to help relieve the withdrawal symptoms that make it so hard to quit. Here is more information:
- The nicotine patch, which is available without a prescription, supplies a steady amount of nicotine to the body through the skin. The patch comes in varying strengths as an 8-week smoking cessation treatment. Nicotine doses are gradually lowered as the treatment progresses. The nicotine patch may not be a good choice for people with skin problems or allergies to adhesive tape.
- Nicotine gum is available over the counter in 2 mg and 4 mg strengths. Chewing nicotine gum releases nicotine into the bloodstream through the lining of the mouth. Nicotine gum might not be appropriate for people with temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ) or for those with dentures or other dental work such as bridges.
- Nicotine nasal spray was approved by the FDA in 1996 for use by prescription only. The spray comes in a pump bottle that you can inhale whenever you have an urge to smoke. This product is not recommended for people with nasal or sinus conditions, allergies, or asthma, nor is it recommended for young tobacco users.
- A nicotine inhaler, also available only by prescription, was approved by the FDA in 1997. This device delivers a vaporized form of nicotine to the mouth through a mouthpiece attached to a plastic cartridge. Even though it is called an inhaler, the device does not deliver nicotine to the lungs the way a cigarette does. Most of the nicotine only travels to the mouth and throat, where it is absorbed through the mucous membranes. Common side effects include throat and mouth irritation and coughing. Anyone with a bronchial problem such as asthma should use it with caution.
The four forms — patches, gum, nasal spray, and inhalers — seem to be equally effective. There is evidence that combining the nicotine patch with nicotine gum or nicotine nasal spray increases long-term quit rates compared with using a single type of nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine gum, in combination with nicotine patch therapy, may also reduce withdrawal symptoms better than either medication alone. Researchers recommend combining nicotine replacement therapy with advice or counseling from a doctor, dentist, pharmacist, or other health provider.
Last Updated: September 2006
Source: The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The NHLBI does not recommend or endorse any company advertised on this site.
The Benefits of Bananas:
Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
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