Be nicotene free

2016-05-25 06:00
ALTHOUGH giving up cigarettes is never easy, it has become increasingly easy to quit thanks to the abundance of information, therapeutic methods, medication and advice that is available to aid smokers in the process of quitting. Photo: Supplied

ALTHOUGH giving up cigarettes is never easy, it has become increasingly easy to quit thanks to the abundance of information, therapeutic methods, medication and advice that is available to aid smokers in the process of quitting. Photo: Supplied

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CIGARETTES contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance which occurs naturally in tobacco.

Most smokers are aware of the health risks associated with smoking, but nevertheless find it difficult to quit, because cigarettes are physically and psychologically addictive.

When a smoker attempts to quit, he or she may suffer physical withdrawal symptoms which could include headache, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, exhaustion, lack of concentration, irritability, anxiety, sleep deprivation and depression.

The good news is that nowadays it is easier than ever to quit, because of a plethora of information, therapeutic methods, medication and advice that is available to aid smokers in the process of quitting.

  • If you are a smoker and are serious about quitting, there are several ways of kicking the habit for good: Going “cold turkey”

The idea of going “cold turkey” is to simply quit smoking at once. Destroy all the cigarettes in your possession and simply do not pick up a cigarette or buy a packet of cigarettes ever again.

This is usually easier said than done and many smokers sooner or later give in to the craving and start smoking again. Several people have, however, reported quitting smoking by going cold turkey.

  • While it works for some, it might not be for everyone. It is by far the simplest and least complicated way of quitting. Smoking cessation programmes

In contrast to going cold turkey, the idea behind a smoking cessation programme is to quit smoking through a gradual process whereby the smoker decreases his dosage over a pre-determined period until the quit date.

Determine the specific date you wish to quit smoking and stick to it.

Let your friends and family know about your plans so that they can support you.

Anticipate and plan for the challenges you will face while quitting. Document every cigarette you smoke and write down what caused you to smoke.

Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car and work. Gradually decrease the amount of cigarettes you smoke until the quit date.

When you reach the quit date, you must be ready to finally quit cigarettes.

  • Smokers wishing to quit can also join Cansa’s unique online smoking-cessation programme campaign at www.ekickbutt.co.za. Behavioural therapy

From this perspective, nicotine addiction is related to the habitual behaviours (“rituals”) involved in smoking.

  • This method of quitting involves working closely with a councillor who will help you identify certain triggers which may lead to smoking and help you to avoid these triggers or effectively deal with them. Nicotine replacement therapy

Nicotine replacement therapy involves “replacing” cigarettes with other nicotine substitutes, such as nicotine gum or a nicotine patch.

It works by delivering small and steady doses of nicotine into the body to relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms without the tars and poisonous gases found in cigarettes.

  • Although this method does not address physical dependence on nicotine, it focusses on breaking the smoker’s psychological addiction and makes it easier to concentrate on learning new behaviours and coping skills. Medication

Medicines can help you quit smoking.

Champix (varenicline tartrate) and Zyban (bupropion hydrochloride) have been proven to be effective in helping smokers to quit. You would need a prescription for these medicines and might have to fork out quite a few rands.
) Even though a smoker’s physical withdrawal symptoms usually subside within a few weeks, the psychological addiction often takes longer to overcome and will require long term commitment and willpower.

However, it is possible to quit smoking and remain nicotine free.
Z Sources:
www.heart.org, www.helpguide.org, www.webmd.com

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