If you've ever tried to quit smoking, you know what a challenge it can be. It is hard because nicotine is a very addictive drug. Quitting is so difficult that people often try two or three times before finally being able to quit. But the benefits are well worth the effort, and it is one of the most important things you can ever do for yourself and your loved ones.
The following five steps will help you quit – and quit for good. You'll have the best chance of quitting if you use them together.
1. Get Ready
2. Get Support and Encouragement
3. Learn New Skills and Behaviors
4. Get Medication and Use It Correctly
Medications can help you stop smoking and lessen the urge to smoke. However, if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, nursing, under age 18, currently smoking fewer than 10 cigarettes per day, or have a medical condition, be sure to talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider before taking medications.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved six medications to help you quit smoking:
Bupropion SR – prescription only
Nicotine gum – available over-the-counter
Nicotine inhaler – prescription only
Nicotine nasal spray – prescription only
Nicotine patch – available by prescription and over-the-counter
Varenicline Tartrate – prescription only
Ask your healthcare provider for advice, and carefully read the information on medication packages.
5. Be Prepared For Relapse or Difficult Situations
Most relapses occur within the first three months after quitting. Don't be discouraged if you start smoking again; remember, most people try several times before they finally quit. Here are some difficult situations to watch for:
If you are having problems with any of these situations, be sure to talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider.
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