Smoking Cessation Through Nicotine Replacement Therapy
When you want to #quit smoking, you may consider the option of quitting cold turkey, meaning all at once. While this may be beneficial for your physical health, it’s often hard to achieve, so many people opt for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), which weans them off of the drug gradually.
Because nicotine is a drug that induces a dependency, when a smoker tries to quit smoking, they suffer withdrawal symptoms that make life very unpleasant until they pass. NRT allows the smoker to use gums, patches, sprays, inhalers, or lozenges with nicotine in them so they can break the smoking habit and stop using the drug in smaller amounts each day.
While the smoker is still ingesting nicotine through the NRT, they are not ingesting the other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, so it is a healthier option than the cigarettes themselves.
NRT lets the smoker quit smoking by freeing up their mind to focus on the psychological addiction. If they quit cold turkey, they’d be focused on the withdrawal symptoms, and unable to concentrate on their habitual use of cigarettes for mental pleasure.
While withdrawal symptoms are not completely gone, they are reduced by up to 90% because the smoker is still getting a smaller dose of nicotine to stave off cravings. When asked why smoking cessation didn’t work for them, many said the #1 cause was the onset of withdrawal symptoms, so NRT helps alleviate that chance for failure.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy does not help you with the mental phase of addiction. It only serves to lessen the physical cravings. You should always find something to help you break the mental addiction to smoking, too.
While you should always check with your doctor before taking any kind of replacement therapy, it’s widely believed in medical circles that the benefits of quitting smoking outweigh the risks of NRT.
If you decide to use NRT, then it should be started right when you first quit smoking. You shouldn’t continue smoking and using NRT at the same time. The fear is that instead of quitting smoking, the double dose of nicotine will have adverse effects on your health.
Whether you choose nicotine patches, gum, nasal spray, inhalers, or lozenges, you may experience some minor side effects. If so, consult your doctor and try switching to a different form of NRT until you find one that suits your preferences.