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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Safest and Most Effective Ways to Quit Smoking

Smokers who want to quit should first understand that smoking is an addiction, so quitting will not be easy. What makes smoking addictive? The nicotine from smoking alters the balance of chemicals in your brain. Nicotine changes the levels of two chemicals called dopamine and noradrenaline which regulate mood and behavior. These same chemicals are in antidepressant medications. When nicotine changes the levels of these chemicals, your mood and concentration levels change. Smokers like the change and crave more.

Likewise, when smokers attempt to quit smoking, the absence of nicotine will decrease both dopamine and norepinephrine levels and affect mood, usually causing irritability. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms can also include cravings, anxiety, hunger, and headaches. The good news is that the worst part of withdrawal symptoms only last about a week. So, what are the safest and most effective ways to quit smoking? They can be categorized into SAFE, NOT EFFECTIVE, and UNSAFE.

The best way to quit smoking is to quite smoking. There is no such thing as just smoking less. As long as the nicotine is there, so is the urge to smoke.

The idea behind nicotine replacement therapy such as the patch and nicotine gum is to replace the nicotine from smoking with nicotine in a patch which contains about one third of the amount of nicotine from smoking. This helps alleviate the withdrawal symptoms and cravings but the patch is still putting nicotine in your system.

Medicines like Chantix and Zyban do not contain nicotine. They work by blocking the chemicals in the brain that make smoking enjoyable, and they are not addictive. They are also approved by the FDA. However, they have side affects. According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Chantix increased the risk of hospitalization from heart attack or serious heart problems by 72 percent.

Hypnosis, acupuncture, low level laser therapy, - there is no real evidence to support that these methods are effective in stopping smoking.

Herbs and Supplements - are not regulated and have not been shown to be effective

Electronic cigarettes - contain cancer causing toxins, including the highly toxic diethylene glycol, according to the FDA.

The bottom line is that quitting smoking will not be easy. For many smokers, it is changing a habit that has been part of their life for many years, and it is reasonable to expect that reversing that habit will also take time. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do, choose a safe method of quitting and be patient.

DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.