It is a well-known fact that almost one in five deaths is caused due to smoking cigarettes. The top three diseases that you can get if you are a smoker are lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking is also related to various other cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, problems during pregnancy, stomach ulcers, and even gum disease. Many people who are chronic smokers may have difficulties when it comes to smoking, and they may need all the help that they can get. There are a few effective ways of smoking cessation, which we are going to take a look at:
Nicotine replacement: When combined with counseling, nicotine replacement increases your chances of smoking cessation. Nicotine replacement not only helps with withdrawal symptoms but also with cravings that are associated with smoking. Nicotine replacement is available either over-the-counter or as a prescription which includes patches, gum, nasal spray, inhaler, and lozenges. If you are a smoker who smokes more than ten cigarettes a day, then you will need to use the highest dose patch that is available, which is the 21mg patch. Nicotine is delivered right into your skin by this patch for 24 hours; it can be removed at bedtime. There are other short-acting forms of nicotine replacement that are available and these can be used alone or used as a combination with patches as needed by the individual according to his/her cravings. They can also be used on a regular schedule at first as well.
Varenicline: It is a prescription medication that is used to treat smoking addiction. Varenicline binds itself to the nicotine receptors that are found in your body, thereby turning them on in order to reduce withdrawal symptoms that the body may face. It also blocks the nicotine receptors from the nicotine in the cigarettes thereby making smoking less pleasurable. It is worth noting that so far Varenicline has shown the highest rate of smoking cessation.
Bupropion: Bupropion is a component found in drugs like Zyban and Wellbutrin SR. Bupropion works by working on the hormones in the brain. The added benefit of Bupropion is that it minimizes the initial weight gain when a person stops smoking. This treatment however needs to take place for a longer duration in people who have quit smoking in order to prevent relapse. People who have a history of seizure disorders are advised not to use Bupropion.
Cytisine: Cytisine can be naturally found in several plants and it has been medically used to help with smoking cessation. However, this alkaloid has a very short life span and is hence rapidly eliminated from the body. This is very similar structurally and pharmacologically to the drug Varenicline which is also used by people who want to quit smoking. Plants like scotch broom and mescal bean are known to contain cytosine.