For decades, since the dangers of tobacco use have become widely accepted, people who have been addicted to smoking tobacco have tried an assortment of methods to quit. Like any addiction, giving up nicotine, especially after using it for long periods of time, can be extremely challenging and often requires many attempts before successfully ending the behavior. This paper will discuss various options for smoking cessation, and will select the course that appears to be the safest and most effective one for an individual who is ready to quit smoking.

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One of the most widely used methods of smoking secession is the use of nicotine patches, which work by delivering low levels of nicotine into the body, and helping people stop smoking by minimizing the physical symptoms of withdrawal (Nicotine Patch, 2013.) The principle behind the use of nicotine patches is that when nicotine use is gradually withdrawn, the chances of success are greater. The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can be extremely trying because once someone stops smoking, the body continues to crave the nicotine so that there may be violent reactions and symptoms including severe headaches, irritability, melancholy, insomnia, and despair. The nicotine patch is a transdermal device that slowly releases the substance into the skin and into the blood. As a result, because there is a continual supply of nicotine, there are fewer urges to smoke.

The use of Wellbutrin, or Zyban, is a popular medication used to treat nicotine addiction as well. It was approved in 1997, and acts on chemicals in the brain to help smokers resist the urge to smoke. The medication is usually prescribed twice a day in dosages of 150 mg, for a period of 7 to 12 weeks although some ex-smokers must remain on the drug for longer periods (Jaret, 2011.) It can be especially effective for people who experience strong withdrawal symptoms when they stop smoking; this medication may be accompanied by significant neuropsychiatric events such as depression, suicidality, agitation, and irritability. Commonly, people experience dry mouth as well as insomnia when taking Wellbutrin.

The other common medication used for smoking secession is Chantix, approved in 1996 and which works by blocking nicotine receptors in the brain. Typically, this medication is prescribed for 12 weeks initially at a titrated dose that leads up to 1 mg twice daily. Unlike Wellbutrin, this medication should not be utilized along with nicotine replacement therapies. The drawbacks to take his medication are similar to those of Wellbutrin, however, and may include depression, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, agitation and hostility. In addition, patients who take this drug may increase their risk of heart attack and strokes.

There is evidence to indicate that when an individual who wants to give up tobacco combines counseling, either in person or over the telephone, with medication, the results can be much more effective than using either method by itself (Explore Quit Methods, 2013.) Such a plan is likely to provide the greatest opportunity to finally stop smoking. As a result, it seems as if a patient may have increased chances of success with your risks by choosing to use a nicotine patch along with seeking counseling for the nicotine addiction. This would maximize the compliance with the plan because the support of a counselor could be extremely helpful in providing encouragement to a smoker who is trying to quit. This person could also provide ongoing information about the nicotine patch, what to expect, and the patient’s ability to tolerate it. It appears that Chantix and Wellbutrin present several very troubling and significant risks to a person’s health, hence the recommendation that a nicotine patch is the safest method to use for smoking cessation treatment. If that method is not effective, an individual could certainly turn to the medications as long as he or she would be carefully monitored medically for any potentially serious side effects and health risks.