Though scare tactics generally don’t make good motivators, it’s hard to ignore one fact about smoking — tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Making matters worse, nicotine is more addictive than alcohol, heroine, or cocaine, which is why 480,000 Americans die because of smoking-related illnesses each year.
At our practice, Kirill Zhadovich, MD, our team is passionate about your health and wellness, which is why we consider smoking cessation to be a critical piece in our overall health care services. If you’ve tried again and again to give up smoking, we can help.
Let’s make 2020 the year you finally ditch the smokes, and here’s how we can help you do it.
A little help
Going cold turkey is a tough road to take if you’re trying to give up smoking. The withdrawal symptoms can leave you jittery and anxious and, quite frankly, not the most pleasant person to be around.
In an effort to pave the way forward to a less bumpy road, we offer several smoking cessation aids that can take the edge off and curb your cravings.
There are two approaches with these aids: With the first, we deliver nicotine into your system in increasingly smaller doses until we wean you entirely. This helps prevent withdrawal symptoms as your body slowly adjusts to taking in less and less nicotine. These nicotine aids come in patches, nasal sprays, chewing gum, and inhalers.
The second approach doesn’t use nicotine, but relies on prescription medications that have shown to reduce your cravings. These medications include bupropion SR (Zyban®) and varenicline tartrate (Chantix®). With both of these, you start taking the medication while you’re still smoking, but you should actively cut down during the week to 10 days following your first pill. And this is made easier because, as the medication goes to work, your interest in smoking begins to wane.
Though the aids described above give you a leg up in your battle to quit smoking, there are still many changes you should make to your lifestyle and habits. For example, increasing your exercise regimen goes a long way toward helping your mental state while you quit. This is because exercise releases endorphins into your system, which are also known as the “feel good” hormone.
As well, try to break certain habits right away, like the morning cigarette with your coffee or that first cigarette after a meal. These cigarettes are ingrained habits, and your body automatically expects them. By slowly dismantling your “ritual” cigarettes up front, you can get the big hurdles out of the way early.
If you’re struggling with quitting and the cravings are overshadowing your mental wellbeing, we may recommend a counselor who specializes in addiction. As well, we can point you toward some great self-help groups that provide critical support when you’re quitting smoking.
The bottom line is that quitting smoking takes a multi-pronged approach, and we’re with you every step of the way, making sure you have the tools you need to kick the habit.
So take the first step to better health, and contact our office in Niles, Illinois, for an appointment.