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The Many Quit Smoking Products and How They Work

Jul 7, 2008
Today, store shelves are stocked full and plenty of advertisements abound for the many different types of products available that are designed to help one stop smoking and overcome an addiction to nicotine. Here are a few of those products, some available only with a prescription while others are able to be purchased over-the-counter, and how they work to help the mind and body deal with both the physical and emotional aspects of quitting smoking.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

Nicotine replacement therapy encompasses several separate products all with the very same purpose, to gradually lessen the amount of nicotine a person has in their system. This allows one to wean themselves from the drug slowly in order to minimize the sometimes severe effects of nicotine withdrawal.

The most common forms of NRT are nicotine gum, which is usually used for up to 12 weeks, and the nicotine patch, a small, clear, transdermal patch, meaning it's worn right on the skin, that releases tiny amounts of nicotine through the skin and then eventually into the bloodstream. Both of these products do not require a prescription and are designed to give relief when cravings strike suddenly.

There are also lozenges, inhalers, and nasal sprays available for smokers interested in nicotine replacement therapy. Lozenges are used similarly to the gum and come in two dosages as well as in a variety of flavors. Inhalers contain a nicotine vapor within a cartridge, not unlike those used for treating asthma, that is depressed to release the vapor into the mouth and held there to be absorbed through the lining of the throat and mouth. Nicotine inhalers aren't used to inhale the vapor down into the lungs, but they still do help smokers having difficulty replacing the hand-to-mouth motions that come along with smoking.

Nicotine nasal sprays are beneficial to those who require more instantaneous results as they enable the nicotine to reach the bloodstream faster than the other forms of NRT and also may be used several times in one hour, gradually decreasing the number of doses. Available by prescription, nicotine nasal spray is generally used from eight to 12 weeks and shouldn't be used by those suffering from allergies, asthma, or sinus conditions, which, unfortunately, many smokers already have.

Prescription Drugs

Available only by prescription, there are a few different drugs for quitting smoking, the most common being bupropion and varenicline, which are both in pill form and taken orally, usually once per day. These drugs are designed to block certain receptors in the brain from receiving signals and the ensuing satisfaction it receives from the nicotine and chemicals within cigarettes, and also reduce the intensity of cravings from withdrawal.

Stop Smoking Laser

This relatively new addition to the world of stop smoking products uses pulses of light that are absorbed into the skin for the purpose of stimulating endorphins within the brain, which are chemicals the body naturally produces that help to reduce stress, increase energy, and just make us feel better in general.

Some other products designed to help people overcome their nicotine addiction include books, tapes, and CD's or DVD's with programs and information about smoking and how to quit. Some of these will feature step-by-step programs to follow and chart your progress, while others utilize subliminal messages or even hypnosis and the power of positive suggestions.
About the Author
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