|CANCER & TREATMENTS FOR CANCER CENTER PATIENTS PREVENTION & RISK ASSESSMENT CLINICAL TRIALS & RESEARCH LIVING WITH CANCER|
Anyone who has ever tried to quit smoking "cold turkey" knows how hard it is. However, there are several methods to aid you in your quitting process. They include:
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
When you smoke, your brain receives a steady supply of nicotine. If you smoke regularly, your body and brain become dependent on nicotine. Then when you stop smoking your brain protests; it wants its steady supply of nicotine. Your "cravings" are one way that your brain lets you know that it wants nicotine. This is why it is so difficult to quit cold turkey.
Nicoderm CQ®, or "the patch", is one form of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). It replaces the nicotine you would normally acquire through smoking with a patch that gives your body a steady flow of nicotine through your skin and into the bloodstream. Nicoderm CQ® comes in three strengths so you can slowly decrease your nicotine addiction.
It is very important to remember that if you are using the patch you must not smoke. Some people may experience a rash where the patch is placed. It is usually very mild and treatable by moving the location of the patch. If you are using the patch, read the directions and ask your doctor/nurse if you have any questions.
Nicorette® is also a form or NRT. Nicorette® is a gum that you can use regularly to help reduce your addiction. With Nicorette® you also break your addiction slowly. It comes in two strengths and you can chose which one is right for you based on how many cigarettes you smoke per day.
Nicorette® provides nicotine directly to your bloodstream through the lining of your mouth. Nicorette® is not like regular chewing gum. You have to chew it according to the instructions in the package. Occasionally, side effects such as hiccups, upset stomach, or jaw ache may occur. Talk to your doctor/nurse if you have any problems. Again, it is very important to remember NOT to smoke if you are using this form of NRT.
Oral Medication (Zyban®)
Zyban® is the first nicotine-free pill available to help you quit smoking. As with any other medication, there are possible side effects with Zyban®. The most common are dry mouth and difficulty sleeping. It can take up to a week for Zyban® to start working, so it is best to set a quit date for the second week you are on the medication. Unlike either the patch or the gum, you can smoke while taking Zyban®, but it is not recommended since doing so reduces the chance that you will quit. Before you start taking this or any other medication, you should talk to your doctor.
Zyban® is a common name for the drug buproprion. Buproprion treats both smoking and depression symptoms. Zyban® is only available by prescription. Sometimes buproprion is known as the antidepressant Wellbutrin.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
As part of this program, you are likely to have been given the patch, gum, or Zyban® to help you quit. The rest of the smoking section of this manual is going to be devoted to thoughts and activities to help you think like a non-smoker. Remember from prior sections, CBT focuses on how your thoughts and attitudes affect your moods.
First you need to decide if you are ready to change.
Continue reading: Are You Ready for Change?