Smoking is unhealthy. You know it, we know it. Yet many people find it difficult to kick the habit despite good intentions. Quitting smoking is not easy because the body is addicted to nicotine. Overcoming nicotine addiction takes a lot of perseverance but it can be done. There are also smoking cessation medications and over-the-counter products that can help break the addiction to nicotine.
What are the symptoms?
People who are addicted to nicotine find it difficult, if not impossible, to not smoke cigarettes or cigars. This is because the body has become accustomed to functioning with nicotine. When you stop smoking, the reduced nicotine intake causes withdrawal symptoms such as tremor, nausea and restlessness. Smokers not only become physically dependent on nicotine, there is also a strong emotional dependence. Many smokers miss that familiar feeling of holding a cigarette between their fingers.
Breaking a nicotine addiction
Nicotine is one of the most dependency-inducing drugs, which is why it is so difficult to kick the habit. Many smokers try to go ‘cold turkey’, relying solely on their willpower to quit. If you are not one of these people, there are smoking cessation treatments available. There are various ways to quit smoking:
- With nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in the form of patches, gum or tablets. NRT stops or reduces the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, which makes it easier to stop smoking.
- With medication, such as Champix or Zyban. These treatments work by stimulating the nicotinic receptors in the brain. This produces an effect that relieves the craving.
NRT products are available without a prescription. Smoking cessation drugs such as Champix and Zyban require a doctor’s prescription.