What Way To Quit Smoking Will Work For You?

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/14/2007 | Health

There are probably as many ways to quit smoking, as there are smokers in the world. Many smokers have good intentions to quit smoking, but just cannot seem to succeed. Those non-smokers, who look at smokers as failures, when they are unable to quit, do not understand the situation. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug found in cigarettes, which the smoker needs and craves constantly. Quitting an addiction is not even in the same class as, say, quitting biting your nails or popping your gum. It is difficult to quit smoking, and there are several main ways that most people seem to try.

The first way to quit smoking is to quit cold turkey. It is not known what a turkey has to do with it. To quit smoking cold turkey means to abruptly quit smoking cigarettes. Once the smoker quits smoking cold turkey, the goal is to never smoke another cigarette again. No drugs or medical aids are used when a person quits smoking cigarettes cold turkey. Fierce willpower, and maybe someone the smoker can call when the urge gets too strong, is required to do this.

Some smokers use nicotine gums and patches to help them quit smoking. These nicotine patches replace the nicotine the smoker normally gets from the cigarette. The idea is to wean the smoker off of cigarettes by gradually using patches containing less nicotine. This technique to quit smoking sounds like a perfectly reasonable approach. However, critics claim that nicotine patches merely prolong the painful nicotine withdrawal period. Each smoker and his doctor will have to decide for him or herself whether the nicotine patch is right for him.

There are other alternative methods people use to quit smoking cigarettes. Hypnotism is a popular method with varied effectiveness. The hypnotist places the smoker into a highly suggestive state, and convinces the smoker that he or she no longer needs cigarettes. The effectiveness of hypnotism in quitting smoking is questionable, however. The results are almost impossible to reproduce in a laboratory setting, and the effectiveness varies with the skill of each hypnotist.

It is far more difficult to quit smoking than non-smokers think. For reasons only they understand (and sometimes even they don't), smokers have become addicted to the potent and dangerous drug nicotine. Some experts suggest that nicotine is as addictive, or more addictive, than many illegal drugs. The effort to quit smoking is a healthy one, whichever method is chosen. Once the body is free of cigarettes for a while, it begins repairing the damage of years or even decades of smoking. That's why people who want to quit smoking should keep trying as many times as it takes to succeed.