What Are the Best Ways to Stop Smoking?
Smoking is a horribly dangerous and deadly habit that claims millions of lives every year. And thanks to the addictive properties of nicotine, it’s tough to quit.
If you’re ready to quit smoking, there’s no better time than right now. And the following products, medications, and tools can help make quitting easy.
Try these smoking cessation methods today, and you can add years onto your life. They can help reduce cravings, replace your old smoking habits, and make the transition from smoker to nonsmoker smoother. No matter your age, it’s never too late to quit – even if you’re over 50 years old.
Average Price: About $80 for a month’s supply
What It Is: A small, sticky patch that adheres to your skin. It’s usually worn below the neck, on places like the arm or chest.
How It Works: Each individual patch releases a dose of nicotine, which is absorbed through the skin. It’s meant to control cravings and withdrawal symptoms for up to 24 hours at a time. Over time, as cravings lessen, the patch can be tapered off or worn less frequently. The patch can be used along with other smoking cessation aids, and you can buy it without a prescription.
Length of Treatment: You can expect to use nicotine patches for eight to 12 weeks. However, if your cravings continue or you’re still experiencing withdrawal symptoms, you may need to wear the patches for longer.
Average Price: On average, a pack of 10 pieces of gum costs $4.50
How It Works: Just like regular gum, former smokers chew on a piece of gum and spit it out when it’s lost its flavor and effect. Each piece of nicotine gum contains a small amount of nicotine, which is absorbed by the lining of your mouth as you chew. You’ll likely notice a pepper-like flavor, which signals to you that the gum is releasing the nicotine.
Effectiveness: Nicotine gum can help control cravings, especially those that come on suddenly. It can also work on withdrawal symptoms. You’ll need to chew nicotine gum in a specific way, biting down and keeping the gum close to your gums and cheeks in order to make it effective. You can use nicotine gum with other quit-smoking products or methods too.
Length of Treatment: You can rely on nicotine gum as often or as infrequently as you’d like. When you first start using this product, it’s recommended that you use one piece every couple of hours and chew no more than 24 pieces each day. It’s common for former smokers to use nicotine gum for as many as 12 weeks.
Average Price: Approximately $58 for a box of 108 lozenges
How It Works: Nicotine lozenges are similar to cough drops: you suck on a single tablet until it dissolves. While you’re sucking on a lozenge, you’ll place it between your cheek and your gums. As it dissolves, the lozenge will release between two and four milligrams of nicotine, which will get absorbed into your bloodstream. And there’s no prescription needed for this smoking cessation option.
Effectiveness: With a small dose of nicotine in each lozenge, you’ll need a few throughout the day to curb your cravings, especially sudden ones. These lozenges can also help with some withdrawal symptoms, and you can use them along with other smoking cessation tools, products, and medications.
Length of Treatment: It’s recommended that you use nicotine lozenges for about 12 weeks, and you can use about 20 per day. Over time, you should be able to reduce the number of lozenges per day, or the number of times throughout the day that you need a lozenge.
Average Price: Approximately $45 for a pack of 42 nicotine cartridges
How It Works: A nicotine inhaler works like a regular inhaler. You’ll use the inhaler to breathe in a small puff of vapor, which is released from a cartridge that you insert into the inhaler. That vapor contains nicotine, which will enter your bloodstream through your mouth and throat as you inhale. Once you inhale, you’ll hold the breath (and the nicotine vapor) in your mouth for a few seconds, then release. An inhaler’s big benefit is that it allows you to control how much nicotine you’re taking in. You can take one puff or a few, as needed.
Effectiveness: Nicotine inhalers can be effective for treating sudden nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. An inhaler can also help the tactile habit of smoking – you’ll hold the inhaler like you would a cigarette, which can help with cravings. You can use these inhalers with other smoking cessation options too.
Length of Treatment: Former smokers can rely on nicotine inhalers for anywhere from six to 12 weeks. It’s recommended that you stay between six to 16 cartridges per day, tapering off gradually as your cravings become reduced.
Nicotine Nasal Spray
Average Price: Approximate average daily cost totals $3.40
How It Works: Like a nicotine inhaler, nicotine nasal sprays are a stop smoking product that’s inhaled. You’ll spray a solution right into each nostril, which contains a small dose of nicotine. After one or two sprays in each nostril, the solution and the nicotine will be absorbed through your nose’s lining.
Effectiveness: Nicotine nasal spray can be a great aid for sudden, frequent nicotine cravings and daily withdrawal symptoms. The big benefit of these sprays is that they can be used often throughout the day, and this can help significantly with cravings. You can control your dose, delivering sprays as needed.
Length of Treatment: Nicotine nasal sprays can be used longer than many other smoking cessation products or treatment options. You can use a spray for three to six months, and you can expect to give yourself one to two sprays per nostril every hour.