Published: 05/10/2013 - Updated: 10/09/2018
Everything seems ready: The decision has been made and the starting moment marked to finally stop smoking. You have checked and there aren't any cigarettes at home. But in the background there is always the question of not succeeding, fear that leads us back to the same habit we want to quit.
Tobacco addiction is an illness and requires proper medical treatment.
Benefits of quitting smoking
The beneficial effects which quitting smoking have on the body are almost instantly noticeable:
- After 20 minutes: Cardiac tension and frequency normalise.
- 8 hours after quitting smoking: Carboxyhemoglobin disappears.
- At 72 hours: The airways start to open and the cough begins to minimise.
- At 7 days: You begin to regain your senses of smell and taste.
- At 15 days: The skin regains smoothness and your mood improves, as well as insomnia and attention span.
- At 3 months: Upto 80 percent of breathing capacity and exercise ability are recovered.
- At 6 months: Normalised susceptibility to bronchitis and cough almost gone.
At this stage, the person can now be considered a former smoker.
How to quit smoking?
There is no doubt that there are many benefits to quitting smoking, however if the smoker does not put in effort on their side, this will be an absolute waste of time. With this we conclude that the first step to quitting is our own motivation and the decision to do so must be our own.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
This therapy provides a sufficient level of nicotine to help the body to control the dreaded withdrawal symptoms. Its main tools are:
Patches: Applied directly to the skin for 24 hours and release a steady dose of nicotine, this dulls cravings in the body and reduces the desire to smoke. The treatment lasts for three months, during which you should be progressively reducing the amount of nicotine that is delivered to the body.
Gum: Used as a complement to the patches, or a complete substitute to smoking in cases of less dependent smokers. Its side effects include headaches, palpitations and vomiting, although moderate consumption and long after quitting smoking can avoid these drawbacks.
Homeopathy: Homeopathic methods generally consist in stimulating the human body's self-healing efforts trying to react in defense of their own balance. An individualised treatment is based on the use of products which act on the same receptors which act towards nicotine and stimulate them to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Phytotherapy: This is based on active ingredients directly used as medicinal plants to treat anxiety with Saint John's Wort, valerian, lemon balm, etc. Sometimes lobelia is recommended as an alternative to gum and patches in this case, but with take extra precaution because they may also be addictive.
Herbal Cigarettes without nicotine: These are used to replace conventional cigarettes, thereby removing nicotine, so the recommendation is to go slowly removing the cigarette habit, reducing the amount of cigarettes a day. With this method, it simulates the urge to smoke, but there is no nicotine contained in these cigarettes, thus helping to wean you off your addiction.
Acupuncture: offers a therapy based on reducing psychological dependence with needles inserted in various parts of the body to promote peace and harmony.
Auriculotherapy: This is a variation of acupuncture that focuses its action on the ears, believing that the body has wide connections with them. Correct handling will provoke healing effects. Its promoters claim that it is a valid technique not only for smoking but also for other addictions; it can be done with needles, with electrical stimulation or lasers.
Hypnosis: Success lies in the willingness of the smoker, so what better way than to find a method that acts directly from that point. Hypnosis makes the patient see smoking as something disgusting in a way that will have the feeling of being liberated from something undesirable.
Aversion therapies: These methods try to create a sense of rejection towards cigarettes within the patient, making the patient not smoke all day except for an hour in which they consume many cigarettes. The goal is to provoke the experience of nausea and other side effects related to smoking tobacco, so you ultimately choose not to use it. The side effects can be so severe that experts advise against these methods.