Kicking the Habit

Giving up smoking, like any addictive substance, will probably be one of the hardest things you will ever do and that is why we are here to help. Below we will list some of the best aids you can use to combat your addiction and quit smoking forever, looking at the specifics of how they help you stop. But before we begin it should be stated that the most important aid you need to quit is will power and stubbornness – if you have neither of these and aren’t motivated to quit then nothing will help you. With that in mind here are some of the best nicotine replacement therapies on the market:

Nicotine gum

Nicotine gum from brands such as Niquitin is easily available at chemists and it comes in two strengths – 2mg for people who smoke less than 25 cigarettes a day and 4mg for those who smoke over that amount. It is important not to eat or drink for 15 minutes before chewing the gum due to the method of absorption and should be chewed slowly until a tingling sensation is felt on your gums. When this happens you should stop chewing until it stops then begin again, the whole process should last about thirty minutes. You should chew one piece of gum every two hours for the first six weeks of quitting in order to reduce nicotine cravings. It is also a good psychological trick to swap one or two pieces of gum per day with regular chewing gum. Side effects of this type of therapy can include mouth ulcers and dizziness.

Nicotine patch

These are one of the most popular ways of weaning yourself off nicotine addiction and work by providing a steady, controlled dose of nicotine into your system throughout the day, reducing any withdrawal symptoms. They typically come in three dosage strengths (21mg, 14, 7) and patch strength is reduced over time. The nicotine patch needs to be applied once or twice a day for between 16-24 hours. Side effects of the nicotine patch may include dizziness, a headache and upset stomach and if you try to sneak in a crafty cigarette be warned that you could overdose on the stuff.

Nicotine inhaler

A nicotine inhaler is a plastic cigarette-esque tube that has a nicotine cartridge inside and contains 10mg of nicotine. These are proving increasingly popular among people who want to quit smoking, as psychologically you are going through the same motions as if you are actually smoking a cigarette. One cartridge delivers the equivalent of one cigarette’s worth of nicotine and it is recommended that ex-smokers use six cartridges per day for three to six weeks. Side effects of nicotine inhalers can include throat or mouth irritation, change in taste buds and headaches. As the inhaler is used on an ‘as and when’ basis it takes a lot of willpower from the user not to abuse it.

Nicotine nasal spray

Nicotine nasal spray is a popular choice of replacement therapy as the nicotine is quickly and easily absorbed through the blood vessels in the nose. Each dose consists of two sprays (one for each nostril) and you should probably want to start with one dose per hour. The spray can be quite an uncomfortable experience to begin with as it requires you to not inhale or sniff when sprayed and gives the user a spicy feeling at the back of the throat. Again, it can also be habit forming due to using it on an as and when basis.