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CHRONICLES ON HEALTH

Help Needed

"Get support when you quit smoking"
By: Vanessa Christine Y. Lacuesta, MDHelp Needed

When you’re kicking the habit, don’t overlook the value of support from those around you. Inform your colleagues, friends, and family that you are quitting smoking. If they are smokers, let them know of your plan to quit and ask for their understanding and support. While in the process of quitting, you may need as much support and encouragement from family and friends who want you to quit. For some, quitting may not always be easy. Seek the professional help of physicians, nurses, and counselors if you need further guidance.

As smoking addiction is blamed largely on nicotine, nicotine replacement therapy (through the use of nicotine inhalers, gum, patches, and sprays) can benefit those who want to quit smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy helps reduce the urge to smoke by providing the nicotine (at controlled levels) your body craves for when tobacco smoking is ceased.

The dose required for nicotine replacement therapy varies among individuals. Heavy smokers compared to light smokers may be required to start at higher doses. Some people prefer one form of nicotine replacement therapy over the other. Choose the right form of therapy that fits your lifestyle.

Nicotine replacement therapy can cause skin irritation, upset stomach, or palpitations (increased heart rate). Consult your physician before taking any of these forms of therapy. Other medications used to help quit smoking are nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists which come in the form of pills. These types of medications are associated with more side effects including depression and other psychiatric symptoms.

Taking medications while quitting smoking is only to help you get rid of the habit. In the end, successfully quitting smoking entirely depends on you. Quit now. You can do it!

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