If you have been trying to quit smoking, you might want to give cold turkey quitting a try instead of using electronic cigarettes or acupuncture to quit.
Every day millions of Americans struggle with nicotine addiction. Even as thousands die of lung cancer or other related diseases, and anti-smoking campaigns fill every nook and cranny of visual media, quitting smoking becomes no less difficult for the average person. A variety of aids have surfaced to make the process easier; everything from a low-dose nicotine patch to hypnotherapy have been alternately sworn by and denounced by masses of would-be quitters.
While there have been numerous accounts of individuals dropping the habit cold turkey without so much as a glance back, the reality is that the average smoker “quits” dozens of times (some successfully). Ultimately, successfully ceasing nicotine use depends on a number of very complex factors.
These factors range from the ever important self control to the more nebulous and volatile environment the individual finds themselves in on a regular basis. Nonetheless, there are practically hundreds of varied methods to aid in the process.
Potentially helpful methods
Nicotine addiction is a very real chemical based need that, when stopped abruptly, can result in withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include irritability, weight gain, and anxiety. As such, an effective program designed to help the individual quit smoking will address these potential side effects.
Cold turkey quitting
Ironically, a survey conducted in the late 1980’s found that amongst smokers abstinent for a period of one to ten years, approximately 95% had used an unassisted method, the most popular of which was quitting cold turkey.
Cold turkey is generally the most frequently cited method in surveys of smokers who quit successfully, though this number may be slightly skewed if the participants would rather claim they had no assistance, or depending on what they categorized as “assistance”. Cold turkey involves the abrupt cessation of smoking, without the aid of nicotine substitutes or lower dose patches.
Nicotine replacement therapy And Gradual Reduction
Nicotine replacement therapy describes a set of medications in a variety of forms that seek to replace nicotine initially, thus gradually weaning the individual off the substance.
Often times these medications deliver nicotine in either an equivalent of significantly lower dose in methods that do not involve the risk of smoking. The most common of these methods is the transdermal patch (with nicotine doses that can be staggered down to, eventually, zero), though inhalers, lozenges, and nicotine gum also exist.
Gradual reduction is another popularly cited method. This can involve switching to lower dose nicotine and tar cigarettes, gradually reducing the number of cigarettes smoked each day, or smoking only a fraction of a cigarette (enough to satiate only the overwhelming urge) each time.
Acupuncture and Electronic Cigarettes
Acupuncture, aromatherapy, and hypnosis have all been attempted with mixed results. Often times, the primary benefit associated with these methods is described as the placebo effect, but more research needs to be done before conclusions can be confidently drawn.
The electronic cigarette, which has only recently come on the market, is used by people who want a healthier smoking experience. Electronic cigarettes produce a vapor rather than smoke, and they only contain a handful of chemicals versus the hundreds in conventional cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes are not recognized as a valid tool for smoking cessation.