Our Quit Smoking Information
Smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of preventable disease, human disability and death in the world, other than shooting people. In the United States alone it is estimated that smoking causes over 500,000 deaths every year. There are over 16 million people in the United States who suffer from debilitating diseases caused by an addition to nicotine.
Over 50,000 people die every year from the result of second hand smoke. The chemicals released from smoking a cigarette can be life threatening for individuals in close proximity to cigarette smokers.
Why Should You Quit Smoking?
Most smokers believe that smoking only harms their lungs. Many parts of the body can be adversely affected by cigarette smoking. Some common effects are:
- Esophagus cancer
- Mouth and upper throat cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Bowel cancer
- Pancreas cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Larynx cancer
Smoking can also attack your heart and blood cells causing such problems as:
- Aneurysms – an expanded and weakened area in the artery. Once it ruptures it can result in internal bleeding, stroke and death.
- Atherosclerosis – a buildup of fats and other substances in arteries. The buildup can block the artery or cause a rupture resulting in death.
- Coronary heart disease – the damage to, and weakening of the heart’s major arteries.
- Elevated blood pressure – which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
When You Decide To Quit Smoking!
The Quitting Cold Turkey method is the most common method tried by smokers, Approximately 90% of all smokers who attempt to quit endeavor to do so without the aid of nicotine replacement therapy or other medication. This method also has the least success. It is a challenging method that requires a lot of willpower, but it is also the fastest method and is therefore recommended for people who need to quit urgently due to serious medical issues.
Quitting Cold Turkey according to the American Lung Association is the least effective method of Quitting Smoking, less than 5% of people who choose to quit smoking by the cold turkey method will find long-term success.
Nicotine replacement therapies are designed to provide individuals suffering from nicotine addiction a safer alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes, thereby easing the quitting process. Nicotine replacement therapies can take the form of gum, patches, inhalers or nasal sprays.
The use of NRT can increase the success rate of quitting by 50% to 70%. After one year, the success rate for NRT is between 6% and 16%, with nicotine patches proving to be marginally more effective than nicotine gum. The side effects caused by the use of NRT include dizziness, upset stomach, blurred vision, skin irritation (from patches) and headaches.
Non-nicotine Smoking Cessation Medication – Certain prescription medications can be used to aid in quitting smoking. Some of them can even be used along with NRT in order to boost the chances of success. These medications do not contain nicotine, are non-habit-forming and are found to have a slightly higher success rate than NRT. The most popular ones on the market are Bupropion (known by the brand names of Zyban® or Wellbutrin®) and Varenicline (Chantix®).
Bupropion is an antidepressant that can reduce the effects of nicotine withdrawal. It should be taken for 7 to 12 weeks, starting 2 weeks before the planned quit date. The most common side effects of Bupropion include headaches, insomnia, fatigue, agitation, irritability, indigestion, and dry mouth.
Varenicline is a medication that interferes with the nicotine receptors in the brain. It can make smoking less pleasurable and reduce the symptoms of withdrawal. The side effects include headaches, nausea, vomiting, trouble sleeping, unusual dreams and gas.