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The Best Way to Quit Smoking

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/25/2007 | Self Improvement

Smoking is a habit that most find difficult to quit. This can be because of the psychological symptoms one experiences after quitting or nicotine addiction in which the person has become dependent on nicotine. That is why it is very difficult to suggest the best way to quit smoking. What may work with one smoker may not work with another.

However, this does not mean that a smoker cannot give up smoking. The best way to quit smoking is to choose a program that suits you specifically. Nicotine replacement therapy, also known as NRT, is one of the most effective and commonly used methods. You can also opt for counseling, emotional therapy or medication or a combination of these methods.

Much depends on how you deal with the withdrawal symptoms. For nicotine replacement therapy, the smoker is provided nicotine in low quantities in the forms of gums, patches, inhalers or nasal sprays. They reduce the craving by releasing nicotine at low levels. The dose is gradually reduced allowing the person's mind and body to accept it before completely stopping it. The success rate of NRT is high and there are relatively few people who relapse even after several years. This is why many consider NRT to be the best way to quit smoking.

An important point to remember is that you should not smoke while undergoing this therapy. It can be dangerous since the nicotine levels in the body may become very high. Nicotine gums and patches are available over the counter while the other forms of the NRT can only be taken under medical supervision.

Another form of treatment is medication. Patients are given Zyban, which is a drug made from the chemical bupropion. This drug stimulates the release of dopamine and norepinephrine in the body - two chemicals that produce feelings of pleasure similar to those experienced while smoking. The success rate of this treatment is modest, and there have been cases when patients have returned to smoking after a period of time. This makes it important for patients who took Zyban to give up smoking to keep in touch with their physicians. Zyban should be taken under medical supervision only and people who are suffering from cardiac disorders or epilepsy should not take it. It is advisable for pregnant women to avoid taking Zyban as well.

Psychological counseling also helps smokers better fight withdrawal symptoms like mood changes and anxiety. Trained professionals who may help make you emotionally stronger perform counseling. They counsel you over the advantages of not smoking. Alternative therapies such as meditation and yoga may also provide added benefits.

For some, however, the best way to quit smoking is the cold turkey method. The smoker decides one day that he is not going to smoke any longer. He stubs out the cigarette, and does not light another. This is a difficult method and requires great willpower.