Ways to Get Rid of Nicotine Dependence or Tobacco Dependence: Treatment, Alternative Therapies, Counseling
There are multiple modes of treatment that can help you get rid of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. Every smoker tries of quit smoking for at least once but usually there is hardly someone who succeed in quitting especially when the attempt is made without any help of professionals. This article discusses about the treatment options to get rid of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence, prevention, coping and lifestyle changes.
Ways to Get Rid of Nicotine Dependence or Tobacco Dependence
Treatment for Nicotine Dependence or Tobacco Dependence
Medications and counseling can prove to be very helpful in an effort to get rid of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence especially if the two are used in combination.
Medications for Nicotine Dependence or Tobacco Dependence
There are many medications that work effectively in reducing the nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. Nicotine replacement therapy and non-nicotine medications are most commonly used treatments that are very safe and effective. Use of more than one medication increases the chances of success such as using the combination of short term nicotine replacement products in combination with longer acting medications. Refer to your doctor to determine the right plan for treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence.
In certain special cases like pregnant woman, smoking more than 10 cigarettes in day, underage smokers with age less than 18 and breast feeding woman, it is necessary to refer to your doctor before starting any over the counter nicotine replacement medications for nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy for Nicotine Dependence or Tobacco Dependence
In case of nicotine replacement therapy to get rid of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence, nicotine is given to the patient but not in the form of tobacco so that patients do not face craving for nicotine or any withdrawal symptoms.
Nicotine replacement medication for nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence can be started as early as you set yourself to quit smoking. Some of the smokers are already using these medications in an effort to reduce smoking gradually.
One can obtain the following nicotine replacement products for treatment of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence:
- Nicotine patch is efficient for treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. These patch supplies nicotine into the blood stream through the skin. You need to change the patch at the end of every day and wear an entirely new patch. Usually one needs to continue the treatment for about eight weeks or may be longer. In case you successfully quit smoking completely after two weeks, the doctor would adjust the dose or provide another therapy that can be used in combination. Side effects of using patch are insomnia, irritation and vivid dreams.
- Nicotine gum like nicorette can be useful in getting rid of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. Nicotine gums are another way of curbing your craving for nicotine by supplying nicotine through the mouth into the blood stream. The gum is meant to be chewed until one gets the mild tingling and peppery taste and then continue parking for several minutes between cheeks and gum line. This allows for nicotine to be absorbed into the blood stream. Usually it results in mouth irritation but in case of vigorous chewing, it can also lead to nausea, heartburn and hiccups due to quick release of nicotine.
- Nicotine lozenge like nicorette mini lozenge can be used for treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. Nicotine lozenge supplies the nicotine in a blood stream through lining of the mouth but by dissolving when placed between gum line and cheeks. Initially one takes one lozenge after every two hours and then gradually increases the duration. However, one must not drink anything just before and after taking the lozenge. Mouth irritation is the most common side effect along with some other effects related to nicotine like nausea, heartburn and hiccups.
One can obtain nicotine replacement products for treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence only if you have the prescription from doctor:
- Nicotrol or Nicotine nasal spray for treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. In this therapy, nicotine is sprayed into each of the nostrils causing nicotine enter into the blood stream through nasal membrane. It is usually prescribed for three months and in few cases it can go up to six months. Nicotine is more easily absorbed but the supply of nicotine is mild as compared to other therapies. Common side effects of Nicotine nasal sprays include runny nose, throat irritation, coughing and sneezing.
- Nicotine inhaler is also used for the treatment to get rid of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. In this therapy nicotine is delivered into your mouth in the form of vapors through a cigarette holder like device by puffing. Nicotine in this therapy enters into the blood stream through lining in your mouth. It has some side effects like irritation in throat and mouth, and throat coughing occasionally.
Non-Nicotine Medications for Treating Nicotine Dependence or Tobacco Dependence
Following are some of the medications free from nicotine and available on prescription for treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence:
- Zyban or Bupropion is basically an antidepressant drug which stimulates the release of dopamine and norepinephrine into the brain. These are the same chemicals that are released due to nicotine. You need to start this medication one week prior to quitting smoking. This drug also helps you in preventing weight gain after quitting smoking but also have some side effects like headache, agitation, dry mouth or insomnia. However, these drugs are prohibited in case of any history associated with seizures or serious trauma like skull fracture.
- Chantix or Varenicline medication helps in treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence by preventing the feeling of pleasure from nictotine and blocking the nicotine receptors. This medication must be started one week prior to quitting smoking for best results. It shows some side effects like headache, nausea, vivid dreams and insomnia. In a very few cases it can also cause serious psychiatric symptoms including thoughts of suicides and depression.
- Pamelor or Nortriptyline medication is used as the last measure when no other medications show any results. It works by increasing the levels of the norepinephrine which is a neurotransmitter. It can have some side effects like drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation and dizziness.
Counseling & Support Groups for Treatment of Nicotine Dependence or Tobacco Dependence
Combination of suitable medicines and counseling /support groups provides the best results in an attempt to get rid of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence on a long term.
Medicines are helpful in talking care of the withdrawal symptoms while counseling helps in developing skills necessary for fighting the craving for nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. Thus if you give spend more time with the counselor, you chances of quitting nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence are boosted.
There are various types of counseling that you may take advantage of for treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence:
- Our attitude to change is primary step towards treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence and phone counseling might help you. Phone counseling is especially helpful for people who do not have direct access to counselors. There are dedicated quit lines for each state of US which you can easily find out by calling 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669).
- Individual or group counseling program is also quite beneficial for people suffering from nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. There are several support groups who that offer a treatment program run by tobacco treatment specialist. Counseling provided during these programs is very helpful in designing efficient techniques that can make it easier to quit smoking. Treatments programs are run by various health care providers, hospitals and certified tobacco treatment specialists who provide useful tips for quitting smoking. You can also take help of some Nicotine Anonymous groups in quitting smoking. These groups are available in some areas. However the most intensive treatment available is the residential treatment programs.
- Internet-based programs. There are many websites that can help you learn and develop strategies necessary for fighting craving for tobacco and quitting smoking. BecomeAnEX is one such websites that offers various blogs, community forums and ask the expert section to help you quit smoking. Some websites also provide quit smoking plan reminders in the form of regular texts.
Treatment Methods to Avoid While Trying to Get Out of Nicotine Dependence or Tobacco Dependence
There are many commercial enterprises who try to help you in the process of treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. They offer many types of quick solutions by reaching you through advertisements. Few of them might have good intentions to genuinely help you but not everyone. Using a substitute tobacco in place of cigarette smoking is not a bad idea but one must remember that tobacco is always dangerous in every form. Thus it is strongly recommended to stay away from the following products:
- Dissolvable tobacco products. Lozenges, tobacco pouches, strips and some other products may only contain very small quantities of nicotine but there is no definite information available yet regarding their effect. Moreover, they are no evidences that prove that it is helpful in quitting nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence.
- E-cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are the new forms of availing nicotine where dissolved nicotine is converted into vapors for inhaling by use of battery power. As there is no clear information available regarding the safety and effects of e-cigarettes, it is not recommended by experts and doctors for nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence.
- Flavored cigarettes. Flavored cigarettes (bidis) and clove cigarettes (kreteks) are even more harmful as they can lead to many health problems in addition to those caused by use of regular cigarettes. Flavored cigarettes are available in many countries except few like United States.
- Hookahs (narghiles). Hukkas are basically pipes of water which allows inhaling the vapors of burnt tobacco through a hose. They are equally harmful as cigarettes and even carry the risk of transmitting infections through water and pipe.
- Nicotine lollipops and balms. Food and Drug Administration or FDA has clearly specified that all the products having nicotine salicylate are very harmful especially for the children in case of accidental usage.
- Pipes and cigars in replacement for nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. These products also have harmful effects in the body just like cigarettes but with some lesser frequency. However they are not safe by any means.
- Smokeless tobacco and the snuff. These products are also very harmful as they contain nicotine and can cause throat and mouth cancer and some other health problems like tooth and gum diseases.
Alternative Therapies to Get Rid of Nicotine Dependence or Tobacco Dependence
One must always consult with his or her doctor before opting for any of the alternative treatments even if it is marked as natural or smoking-cessation aids. Natural does not make anything safe for health.
- Acupuncture can be used as an alternative complimentary treatment while you are facing withdrawal symptoms. Acupuncture is a popular treatment therapy which involves use of thin solid metallic needles for stimulating certain special points in body. It is safe therapy but there are no evidences to suggest that it can help in treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence.
- Another alternative treatment for nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence is the usage of herbs and supplements. There are some dietary supplements like SAMe, St. John's wort and silver acetate but it has not been reported to have any positive influence on quitting smoking.
- Hypnosis can be used as an alternative therapy for nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence if you are unable to get any benefits from counseling. Hypnosis also referred as hypnotherapy does have any solid evidences to suggest that it helps in treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence but a few experts feel otherwise.
- One must always consult with his doctor before going for this treatment.
- Some people find yoga asanas and mindful meditation useful to cope up with the anxiety while coping with withdrawal symptoms of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence but there are no certain evidences to suggest that it helps in treatment of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence.
Prevention of Nicotine Dependence or Tobacco Dependence
You must be prepared to say no to smoking to avoid any chances of getting nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence.
There are many reports that suggest that children with non-smoking parents have very little chances of smoking. Thus, you can ensure that your children do not smoke by ensuring that you stay away from smoking or quit smoking in case you are a smoker.
Following are some of the steps that can help you create a nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence free and healthy environment for the coming generations.
- Talk to your children about nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. You must always talk to your children and make them aware of the harmful effects of smoking on body. Parents are the biggest encouragement for the children and thus they can motivate the children to stay away from smoking.
- Stay in touch with your teens. People are most likely to get into nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence when they are teens and specially those who have someone smoking in the friend circle. Thus we must always talk to our children about staying away from smoking cigarettes and related things like smokeless tobacco and cigars that can be very harmful for the body.
- Promote smoke-free environments. One must support the fight for making our home and workplaces free from smoking by participating in anti-nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence plans run by government, communities or schools.
- Support for increasing taxation on tobacco products. By in increasing taxation which directly influences the prices, we can discourage people to indulge into nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. The combination of high taxation policies and creation of smoking free zones can effectively work against smoking.
Coping with the Problem of Nicotine Dependence or Tobacco Dependence
Following coping tips will help you stay away from nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence:
- Stay motivated in order to get rid of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. Prepare a definite plan for quitting smoking including the date to start. You can start off from the mixed feelings that you may have about smoking and then gradually finding more reasons to say away from smoking.
- Do not get disappointed if you fall back. You will not succeed on the first attempt but it is important to stay focused and encouraged with firm thought of getting out of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. Learn from your failed attempts and build on your experiences to prepare yourself for a better attempt next time.
- Identify your major smoking triggers and challenges in the process of getting rid of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. It is very important to identify things that trigger you to smoke so that you can prepare a solid plan to fight against them.
- Support groups and the your loved ones like family members and friends can always provide a good support and encouragement in your attempt to get out of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence.
- Practice positive self-talk. Always tell yourself that you want to quit smoking and give yourself positive reasons for doing so.
- Try to stay away from smoking zones or your co-workers who encourage you to smoke. Tell them not to ask you for smoking.
- Gather more reasons to boost the idea of getting out of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. There are various benefits of quitting smoking. In a shorter run you enjoy better breathing, better smelling clothes and savings. On the longer run you enjoy healthy living and safe environment for your family members.
- Avoid alcohol to better cope with nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. Once you are drunk, you have lesser control and thus drinking can hamper your plans to quit smoking. Avoid drinking alcohol as far as possible.
- Reward yourself. Encourage yourself by rewarding yourself with shopping or outing to make yourself happier.
Lifestyle Changes to Get Rid of Nicotine Dependence or Tobacco Dependence
One must be prepared with a solid plan to face the nicotine withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are their peak during the first week after you quit smoking but its intensity decreases gradually with time until the end of the month where they almost goes off completely. However the symptoms may shoot up occasionally after many days of getting out of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence.
Following are some of the lifestyle changes that can help you manage these withdrawal symptoms of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence:
- Regular exercise is a good lifestyle change and can help in treating nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. Excising regularly is very helpful in combating the withdrawal symptoms resulting from quitting smoking and also helps in preventing the gain of body weight after quitting smoking.
- Wait out cravings. Cravings does last for more than five minutes or so and thus by engaging yourself in other activities like going for a walk or dish washing can help you resist the temptation. You can also get your mouth busy by eating some healthy snacks like carrot or radish, sunflower seeds, apple etc... You must always ensure that you get rid of all the tobacco supplies from your approach so that you can pass away that little time duration of craving for nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence.
Identify rationalizations. A lot of people can get off badly by letting thoughts like "I will just smoke one to get through this tough time" or "Just one won't hurt" ruin their efforts of getting out of nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence. Thus we must always develop a rational thinking against smoking and think about positive effects or changes that quitting smoking brings to your life.
- Talk to a support person. Talking to someone who is close to you like family or friends can always help you in the time or anxiety or depression to keep away from nicotine dependence or tobacco dependence.
- Avoid high-risk situations. One must recognize the triggers and ensure that those situations and people do not influence you to smoke again.
- A great lifestyle change is to eat regular, healthy meals. Prepare a healthy diet plan for your good health that consists of lots of vegetables and fruits. Drink lot of water.