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Medication to help Stop Smoking

Quitting may not be easy. Tobacco products are addictive and it is easier to quit smoking with help. There is a range of medical products available that can double your chances of success.





What type of products can help Stop Smoking?

Medical products shown to be successful are:

1. Nicotine Replacement Therapies:

Patches, gum and inhaler All nicotine replacement therapies are available over the counter in your lo-cal pharmacy and can be bought without a prescription.

2. Zyban tablets

These need to be prescribed by a doctor. Correct usage of these products has been shown to double the chances of stopping smoking among heavy smokers. If you have recently had a heart attack, are pregnant, or you are breast feeding, talk to your doctor before using these products.

How does Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) work?
  • NRT works by replacing nicotine from cigarettes with nicotine from the gum, patch or inhaler.
  • The gum slowly delivers the nicotine through the lining of the mouth;
  • The patch slowly delivers the nicotine through the skin;
  • The inhaler delivers the nicotine a little faster through the lungs.
  • Because these products deliver a constant low dose of nicotine compared to ciga-rettes they:
  • Reduce your body's addiction to the nicotine in cigarettes; and
  • Reduce symptoms of withdrawal eg: cravings and anxiety.

How to use NRT

  • For smokers of 10 or more cigarettes a day it is recommended that high dose NRT is used.
  • Gum: Chew 3 - 4 times;
  • Flatten it and place it between your cheek and gum;
  • Discard after 30 minutes;
  • Use gum regularly, for example, one piece per hour;
  • Gum is NOT to be chewed like regular gum but used as an oral patch.
  • Patches: Apply to clean, dry, smooth skin on arm or upper body, in the morning;
  • Choose a different site each day to avoid skin rash.
  • Inhaler: Resembles a cigarette and the nicotine is inhaled through the mouth;
  • It may be useful for those who miss the act of smoking.
  • To work properly NRT should be used for a minimum of seven weeks.

Some smokers confuse symptoms of withdrawal from tobacco with the side effects of NRT. They may become tense, agitated, depressed, have disturbed sleep or crave cigarettes when using NRT. These can be symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. This can happen when the nicotine from the NRT has not properly replaced the nicotine from cigarettes. Different types of NRT can be combined to enhance quit-ting success, for example patch plus gum or patch plus inhaler. Some people experience side effects, but these are usually mild. If you are con-cerned talk to your doctor.

What is Zyban?

Zyban is a non-nicotine medication that helps people stop smoking. It is available only on prescription so you need to visit your doctor. Zyban can be combined with NRT to help with quitting.

Other strategies

Other things that may help you when you quit are:

  • Counselling;
  • Developing a quitting plan;
  • Setting a quitting date;
  • Cutting down on the amount you smoke before your quit date.
  • Quitting with a friend;
  • Reducing alcohol and coffee intake in the first two weeks;
  • Avoiding other people's smoke.
  • At about three months most quitters have become established non smokers.
Things to remember
  • Many ex-smokers have made several attempts before they quit for good;
  • Planning will improve your chance of success;
  • The health benefits of quitting start within two hours of giving up.