How Long Should You Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy
The US Food and Drug Administration suggests the following. Users of Nicotine Replacement Therapy products should still use the product for the length of time indicated in the label – for example, 8, 10 or 12 weeks. However, if they feel they need to continue using the product for longer in order to quit, it is safe to do so in most cases.
The American Cancer Society notes that The FDA has approved using the patch for a total of 3 to 5 months.
In other words, follow the instructions, but it is reasonable to use the patch for up to 5 months, if you have the approval of your health care professional.
In my experience, most people relapse when they taper down too quickly from the full strength 21 mg patch to the 14 mg patch.
What Are Some Of The Triggers For Smoking
In addition to nicotine cravings, reminders in your daily life of times when you used to smoke may trigger you to smoke. Triggers are the moods, feelings, places, or things you do in your daily life that turn on your desire to smoke.
Triggers may include any of the following:
- being around smokers
- drinking an alcoholic beverage
- feeling bored
Knowing your triggers helps you stay in control because you can choose to avoid them or keep your mind distracted and busy when you cannot avoid them.
Coping With Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
Once you stop smoking, youll likely experience a number of physical symptoms as your body withdraws from nicotine. Nicotine withdrawal begins quickly, usually starting within an hour of the last cigarette and peaking two to three days later. Withdrawal symptoms can last for a few days to several weeks and differ from person to person.
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Have A Portable Hobby
This is all about distraction. Find something you enjoy doing that’s easy to pick up and put down at a moment’s notice. You could work a crossword puzzle or read a few pages from a novel. If you knit or crochet, you carry around a simple project to keep your hands busy and away from cigarettes.
Avoid action-packed video games or any activity that is more likely to raise your blood pressure than lower it. Anxiety or excitement can be a prime trigger for smoking that you need to avoid rather than incite.
What Are Some Of The Withdrawal Symptoms Associated With Quitting Smoking
Quitting smoking may cause short-term problems, especially for those who have smoked heavily for many years. These temporary changes can result in withdrawal symptoms.
Common withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting include the following:
- nicotine cravings
- anger, frustration, and irritability
- weight gain
Studies have shown that about half of smokers report experiencing at least four withdrawal symptoms when they quit . People have reported other symptoms, including dizziness, increased dreaming, and headaches .
The good news is that there is much you can do to reduce cravings and manage common withdrawal symptoms. Even without medication, withdrawal symptoms and other problems subside over time. It may also help to know that withdrawal symptoms are usually worst during the first week after quitting. From that point on, the intensity usually drops over the first month. However, everyone is different, and some people have withdrawal symptoms for several months after quitting .
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How Long Does It Take To Detox From Nicotine
The most severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms usually dissipate after about three days, but other symptoms like cravings and depression may linger for several weeks or months. Overall, it will take about 1 to 3 months for your brain chemistry to re-balance after you quit, so try to be patient with the process.
What Are Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
If an individual is addicted to nicotine, the first step in overcoming the addiction is the cessation of all tobacco products and withdrawal. This process breaks a personâs physical dependence on the addictive substance.
The severity of nicotine withdrawal symptoms will vary based on the level of the personâs addiction, but they may include:
- Tobacco cravings
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Helping A Loved One To Stop Smoking
Its important to remember that you cannot make a friend or loved one give up cigarettes the decision has to be theirs. But if they do make the decision to stop smoking, you can offer support and encouragement and try to ease the stress of quitting. Investigate the different treatment options available and talk them through with the smoker just be careful never to preach or judge. You can also help a smoker overcome cravings by pursuing other activities with them, and by keeping smoking substitutes, such as gum, on hand.
If a loved one slips or relapses, dont make them feel guilty. Congratulate them on the time they went without cigarettes and encourage them to try again. Your support can make all the difference in helping your loved one eventually kick the habit for good.
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Tobacco And Cancer
These are only some of the most common health risks associated with tobacco use. Carcinogenic chemicals in tobacco cause genetic changes, putting tobacco users at a higher risk for many types of cancer.
Carcinogens are cancer-causing chemicals that alter a persons DNA. The carcinogens in tobacco may cause abnormal cell growth that can develop into cancerous tumors. Smoking causes lung cancer deaths in approximately 90% of men and 80% of women.
For more information on addiction treatmet, contact a treatment provider today.
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelors and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffreys desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffreys mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
- A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease – The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease Fact Sheet, 2010 and Tobacco Control: Reversal of Risk After Quitting Smoking. IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention, Vol. 11. 2007, p 341.
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
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Nicotine Withdrawal And Your Mood
As your body adjusts to life without nicotine, you may have mood swings or feel increased anxiety or sadness. If you become depressed or are having extreme sadness, do not ignore these feelings or keep them to yourself. Let someone who cares about you know how you are feeling, and talk to a doctor or another trusted healthcare professional.
Know When You’re Rationalizing
Thoughts of smoking just one cigarette are going to happen as you make your way through the early days of nicotine withdrawal. In fact, during the first week or two of smoking cessation, you may feel as though youre thinking of nothing but smoking.
Addiction has an even stronger hold on you mentally than it does physically. Your mind will turn itself inside out trying to convince you that you must smoke again.
Be prepared for the mental chatter that comes with this phase of smoking cessation. Every new ex-smoker goes through some of it. Understand that its just a part of the process as you work to quit nicotine and dont let it throw you. For most people, the worst of it will be over by the end of your first smoke-free month.
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How Safe Is Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy is considered safe for smokers with a history of cardiovascular disease. It does not increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes in smokers with a history of cardiovascular disease.
There is not enough evidence to be absolutely sure that nicotine replacement therapy is safe for pregnant women. However, many physicians feel that nicotine replacement therapy is much safer than smoking.
Be Prepared To Defeat Triggers
Physical withdrawal from nicotine triggers the urge to smoke. Once nicotine is gone from the bloodstream, triggers shift over to the mental associations you have built up over the years. From the first cup of coffee in the morning to the last thing you do before bed, smoking has become a part of who you are.
Triggers will often appear seemingly out of the blue and cause powerful urges to smoke. These can make you feel like you’re back in the midst of physical withdrawal, even though there is no nicotine present in your body any longer. With practice, you can break down old habits and create new ones that are much healthier.
- Distract yourself. Keep your hands busy with a hobby. Making a list of things to do instead of smoking will allow you to quickly switch to one of those activities.
- Keep healthy snacks on hand to help you with the hand-to-mouth association of smoking.
- Avoid drinking alcoholor being around smokers. The time will come when drinking or being around people who are smoking wont bother you, but dont expect it within the first several weeks of smoking cessation.
- Learn to decipher smoking urges. Once you begin to understand what your body is signaling when you experience an urge to smoke, you can make better choices that will become automatic in time.
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Tip 7 Get Rid Of All Vape Gear
Having anything related to vaping around only tempts fate. Make sure to cleanse your home, car, work, and all personal effects of anything to do with cigarettes or vapes.
Immediately after making the decision to quit vaping, get rid of all electronic e-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape juice refill cartridges, and anything else that might make you think about it.
You are a non-smoker now and you dont need anything related to vaping, so be clear on your decision and get rid of all vape gear.
Living a vape-free/smoke-free life gives you a newly found freedom. But dont confuse freedom and compulsion, they are two different things. Remember you made the wise choice to stop vaping, so take a moment to congratulate yourself every time you think about it.
How Can I Resist The Urge To Smoke When Im Around Smokers
You may want to analyze situations in which watching others smoke triggers an urge in you to smoke. Figure out what it is about those situations that makes you want to smoke. Is it because you associate feeling happy with being around other smokers? Or, is there something special about the situations, such as being around the people you usually smoked with? Is it tempting to join others for routine smoke breaks?
Here are some tips:
- Limit your contact with smokers, especially in the early weeks of quitting.
- Do not buy, carry, light, or hold cigarettes for others.
- If you are in a group and others light up, excuse yourself, and donât return until they have finished.
- Do not let people smoke in your home. Post a small âNo Smokingâ sign by your front door.
- Ask others to help you stay quit. Give them specific examples of things that are helpful and things that are not helpful .
- Focus on what youâve gained by quitting. For example, think of how healthy you will be when all smoking effects are gone from your body and you can call yourself smoke-free. Also, add up how much money you have saved already by not purchasing cigarettes and imagine how you will spend your savings in 6 months.
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Poking Holes In Smoking
Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese technique, has been used for thousands of years for a variety of ills — and these days, for some people who have recently gotten the point, it has helped them rise above the cigarette haze for good. In a study at the University of Oslo in Norway, published in the journal Preventive Medicine in 2002, participants who had smoked for an average of 23 years were given acupuncture treatments, with needles inserted at points believed to influence organs associated with smoking . Over a five-year period, these participants smoked less and had a decreased desire to smoke, compared with a control group.
“In a clinical setting, you’ll meet many people who say they quit smoking by using acupuncture, and they swear by it,” says Kiresuk. But taken together, the available clinical studies have not provided persuasive evidence of acupuncture’s benefits, with much of research raising doubts about the alternative technique’s ability to help kick the habit, he says.
Researchers at the University of Exeter in Exeter, England, conducted an analysis that combined data from all of the existing randomized, controlled trials of acupuncture. Their conclusion: Acupuncture was no better than sham acupuncture techniques in helping people become smoke-free.
How To Quit Smoking Plan
You can quit smoking with a little help. If youre anxious about quitting, this website will take you through the stages of quitting smoking step-by-step. You will learn how to get ready, how to quit, and how to make sure that you dont relapse. You will also learn tips that make quitting easier.
You are probably at the stage where part of you wants to quit smoking, but part of you doesnt. Maybe youre worried about withdrawal, or afraid that youll fail. Put those thoughts aside for now. Focus on why you want to quit, and that will give you the motivation to succeed.
The good news about smoking is that it doesn’t matter how much youve smoked, or how long you have smoked. If you quit now, your body will begin to repair itself and will take care of you even after years of neglect.
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Duration Of Physical Effects
The physical effects of nicotine withdrawal last the least amount of time. These physical symptoms can range from headaches and a rapid heart rate to stomach pain and dizziness. Most symptoms of nicotine withdrawal peak around the third to fifth day and slowly taper off after that, according to The Quit Smoking Community. Some people feel physical symptoms from nicotine cessation for much longer than others, depending on a few factors. The following are factors that contribute to how long your physical symptoms will last:
Side Effects Of Quitting Smoking Cold Turkey
What happens to your body when you stop smoking cold turkey? Some people experience mild withdrawal symptoms for a few days. Others struggle with intense cravings and side effects for weeks.
You can expect withdrawal symptoms to set in anywhere from four to 24 hours after your last cigarette. For most people, withdrawal peaks about three days after quitting, gradually tapering off over the next three to four weeks. Its not uncommon to feel intense cravings when you encounter familiar places or situations where you used to smoke.
While some people can successfully ward off withdrawal symptoms and cravings, others find these sensations too much to bear.
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Mental Emotional And Behavioral Symptoms
Like physical symptoms, how much you are affected mentally and emotionally when you quit smoking will be different for everybody. But assume you will deal with some or all of the following signs of withdrawal:
- Anxiety. Smoking relieves stress, so your anxiety can skyrocket when you quit. It tends to pop up around 3 days in and can last a couple of weeks.
- Depression. It can start the first day you quit but is generally gone within a month. But if you have a history of anxiety and/or depression, yours could last longer and you might need extra help from your doctor to manage your symptoms.
- Irritability. You might have a short fuse — even find yourself angry — from time to time as you deal with the physical symptoms. Itâs normal and should pass.
- Mental fog. Youâll probably have a hard time concentrating as the nicotine wears off and leaves your body.
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Nicotine addiction is a complex disorder with no easy cure. Millions of people throughout the globe would like to discontinue smoking but cannot. Many people try to quit smoking and are successful for a few weeks or months but relapse rates are very high. There is no one magical treatment to curing nicotine addiction but evidence suggests that an interprofessional approach that encourages changes in lifestyle may have better outcomes. The nurse is in the prime position to educate the patient at discharge. The pharmacist can educate outpatients on the adverse effects of smoking. The social worker should encourage the patient to change lifestyle, join a support group and keep away from people who smoke. The pharmacist may recommend nicotine substitutes but at the same time should encourage a healthy diet, starting a new hobby and participating in an exercise program. Some individuals may benefit from cognitive behavior therapy. Finally physicians should continually enforce the importance of nicotine cessation and remind the patient that it adversely affects health.
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How Can I Start The Day Without Smoking
Many smokers light up a cigarette right after they wake up. After 6 to 8 hours of sleep, a smokerâs nicotine level drops and the smoker needs a boost of nicotine to start the day. After you quit, you must be ready to overcome the physical need and routine of waking up and smoking a cigarette. Instead of reaching for your cigarettes in the morning, here are some tips:
- The morning can set the tone for the rest of the day. Plan a different wake-up routine, and divert your attention from smoking.
- Be sure no cigarettes are available.
- Before you go to sleep, make a list of things you need to avoid in the morning that will make you want to smoke. Place this list where you used to place your cigarettes.
- Begin each day with a planned activity that will keep you busy for an hour or more. It will keep your mind and body busy so you donât think about smoking.
- Begin each day with deep breathing and by drinking one or more glasses of water.