Medicines That Help You Stop Smoking Nicotine Replacement Nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes and it causes cravings when you try to quit smoking. Nicotine can be taken by itself to help fight off cigarette cravings while you try to quit. Nicotine replacement comes in different forms and you can get different amounts of nicotine in each form. Some people use a combination of nicotine medications. Taking nicotine by itself is not known to be harmful. Prescription – you must go to a healthcare provider and get a prescription for this type of nicotine replacement - Nicotine Nasal Spray –sprayed into each nostril - Nicotine Oral Inhaler –sprayed in through your mouth and may not work out for someone with asthma. Non-Prescription – you can buy this in a drug store or pharmacy (like Target, CVS, Wallmart, Rite Aid, Walgreens) without a prescription - Nicotine Gum – take a bite, then hold the gum in your mouth between your cheek and gum to let the nicotine absorb - Nicotine Lozenges – no chewing, just hold the lozenge in your mouth between your cheek and gum and let the lozenge slowly dissolve - Nicotine Patch – allows the nicotine to diffuse in through your skin, use one patch at a time and replace it each day
Non-Nicotine Medications that Help You Quit There are other medications besides nicotine that can help you quit smoking. Both of these medications must be prescribed by a healthcare provider. - Burpropion (Wellbutrin) – this is an antidepressant that helps to relieve the symptoms caused by nicotine withdrawal, like anxiety and depression. You can use nicotine replacement like gum, patch, lozenges, nose spray, or inhaler along with this medication. If you get seizures you should not take this medication. You cannot drink alcohol while taking bupropion. - Varinicline (Chantix) – this medicine makes your body less responsive to nicotine, so when you have a cigarette it doesn’t feel as satisfying as it used to. The medication stimulates your body the same way nicotine does, but not as strongly. At the same time it blocks the nicotine from working. You have to start taking this medicine a week before you stop smoking. It helps you quit by decreasing your cravings and preventing the pleasant effect of a cigarette.
How much Nicotine in one cigarette? You get about 1mg – 2 mg of nicotine in each cigarette that you smoke. Some cigarette may actually have more nicotine than this in them, but the amount you get when smoking depends on how many puffs you take and how deeply you breathe.
Getting Ready to Stop Smoking Why do you want to stop smoking? Why is this important to you? Make a list of the reasons you want to quit. Think about each thing on the list and how not smoking will affect each item. Being motivated can help you to quit.
Finding Support -
Talk to your friends and loved ones, tell them that you plan to quit smoking and tell them why it is important to you Tell your family and friends that you will need help quitting, and that they can help you stop smoking by being supportive o Tell them what will not help you (like yelling) so that you can avoid it o Warn them about the withdrawal symptoms you may experience so that they know what to expect Tell your loved ones when your quit date is and tell them about your plan for stopping, they may be able to help Bring a friend or loved one with you when you see your healthcare provider about quitting o if they understand what you are going through they will be better able to help you
What to expect: nicotine withdrawal - Anxiety + depression - Irritability - Increased appetite - Trouble concentrating - Weight gain
More Informaiton: National Cancer Institute: www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/smoking American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org The CDC: www.cancer.org
Talk to Your Healthcare Provider: -
Tell your healthcare provider how long you have been smoking, how many cigarettes you smoke each day, what time of day you smoke your first cigarette, and if you have ever tried to quit before o This helps them decide what anti-smoking medicines will work best for you, and how much you should take Ask what kind of withdrawal symptoms you may experience Tell your healthcare provider what smoking-cessation medications you think will work best for you, and ask them what they recommend o Ask how much you should take every day, and how often o Is there anything you have to avoid while taking these medications? Tell your healthcare provider the date you plan to stop smoking Schedule another appointment for the week after to you quit so that your medicines can be adjusted if necessary