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Stop Smoking Methods
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It is known that quitting smoking is hard due to the addictive properties of nicotine and that most smokers would like to stop. Stop smoking techniques are many and this article will focus on the various categories of stop smoking methods. This is not an exhaustive list of stop smoking aids, but is simply a broad survey and introduction to this topic

Quit Smoking 'Cold Turkey'

This method is probably the most popular quit smoking technique as it relies on will power alone, and of course costs nothing. The down side is that it is not a very successful method for most smokers. In fact only 5% of smokers quitting this way will remain non-smokers, long-term. Nicotine addiction is tenacious and few mortals can resist its yellow fingered grasp. A related technique involves gradually tapering off cigarette consumption. Again an iron will is necessary if you want to finally quit using this method.

Quit Smoking Nicotine Replacement

This method seems counter intuitive as it doesn't seem to tackle the underlying problem, nicotine addiction itself. There are a number of routes for administration. Nicotine patches continuously release nicotine over a long period. Some prefer the oral stimulation provided by nicotine gum. Whilst hard-core addicts can receive their nicotine almost instantaneously through a nasal spray. Electronic cigarettes are also commercially available. A cartridge containing nicotine is placed into the smoking device and vaporizes giving instant gratification.This technique has the obvious advantage that it mimics some of the associated pleasurable aspects of the habit. The disadvantage, of course, is that you are still addicted to nicotine. There is no doubt that nicotine replacement remains a safer alternative to smoking, whether you can completely free yourself of the addiction, in its entirety, is another matter.

Quit Smoking by 'Guru'

There is a large collection of books and programs available to help you stop smoking. Some programs quote astonishing quit rates. I confess I'm a little skeptical about some of the extreme claims. In the main, these programs give structured support and help to develop the right mind-set to help you give up.

Quit Smoking by Alternative Medicine

By alternative medicine I mean techniques such as acupuncture, hypnotherapy, meditation and herbal remedies. There is no doubt that these techniques have helped countless people to stop smoking. I still remain to be convinced, although I keep an open mind, whether these techniques work directly. It is possible that they act at the level of the 'placebo effect' or perhaps they give the psychological support that is conducive to smoking cessation.

Quit Smoking by Medicine

Zyban is a prescription based medicine that was trialed as an anti-depressant however, it was quickly noted that the drug lessened the desire to smoke in users. Quit rates with this drug are between 15% to 25%, depending on the studies cited. This remains an impressive quit rate considering the addictive powers of nicotine. Whilst the exact biochemical mechanism is not known, it is thought that Zyban influences pleasure centres in the brain reducing the need to smoke. Be warned, as with all drugs, there might be side effects and you need to discuss this method with your doctor to see if it would be a suitable quit method for you.

This concludes my survey of quit smoking methods. My next article in this series will look in more detail at quitting 'cold Turkey'.

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