Picking one that suits you can be a daunting task. To help out with this process, some of the facts and myths surrounding the options available today is listed here.
Nicotine patches: These patches are impregnated with nicotine and are worn on the skin. The nicotine from the patch gets gradually absorbed into the bloodstream. If used properly, these patches help with nicotine withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
The challenges of using patches is to pick the right dosage and periodically change the patches. Side effects reported with the use of patches are odd dreams, dizziness, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea. Other serious symptoms such as seizures, rashes, abnormal heartbeat, and breathing difficulties have also been reported.
In a study conducted with 1686 smokers, patches were effective on 19.4% of the patients (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8518571 ). Although patches help users quit smoking, it does help users stay quit.
Recommended dosage: single patch a day
Average cost: $45 for a pack of 14
For more details on nicotine patches https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a601084.html
Nicotine gums: Nicotine gums is a type of chewing gum that delivers nicotine to the bloodstream via absorption by the tissues of the mouth. In many ways, nicotine gums are similar to patch with a slightly different delivery mechanism. Nicotine gums helps with withdrawal symptoms and cravings, if used correctly.
Similar to patches, while using nicotine gums, the right dosage is critical to avoid an overdose and for the treatment to be effective. Side effects of using gums are dizziness, mouth tooth and jaw problems, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, irregular heartbeat, rashes, and blisters in the mouth.
Recommended dosage: 1-2 pieces each hour
Average cost: $40 for 100 pieces
For more details on nicotine gums https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a684056.html
Smoking cessation medication: These medications do not contain any nicotine and work in different ways than nicotine patches and gums. They help with nicotine craving, withdrawal symptoms, and are not habit forming.
The right dosage and medication for you will be prescribed by a healthcare provider or a therapist. Depending on the medication, side effects may include dry mouth, headaches, nausea, problems sleeping, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Recommended dosage: once or twice a day for 2 weeks up to a year (depends on the medication and dosage)
Average cost: $40 per pill
For more details on medications https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007439.htm
E-cigarettes: Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are electronic smoking devices that deliver nicotine. These device vaporize the liquid contained inside a cartridge which is then inhaled. The composition of liquid varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but in general, contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. Although e-cigarettes do not contain many toxins present in a cigarette, it contains other chemical that can potentially harm the user. Not much is known about health risks of using e-cigarettes and like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are addictive. Direct exposure to the liquid present in e-cigarettes can cause nicotine poisoning.
Average cost: $70 for an e-cigarette kit
For more details on e-cigarettes https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ecigarettes.html
Quitlines and text messaging services: Quitlines such as smokefreeTXT are text messaging services that help users quit smoking. These services send automated text messages with tips on cravings, medications that can help what to do if you slip. Signing up for a text messaging service improves your chances of quitting, but still have low success rates of 10%. The main factor contributing to this is the static nature of message delivery.
When the user experiences cravings or withdrawal symptoms, these text messaging services are not capable of offering help when it is required.
Average cost: Free
For more details on text messaging services http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwwpm3BRDuh5awn4qJpLwBEiQAATTAQepSF_ud5QNRyxWI7L3mGWUXvp9bUP0KaBC7UAFCsmwaAp-38P8HAQ
Smart phone apps: Android and iPhone app stores have more than 100 applications that help people quit smoking. After the user downloads the app on their phone, they have to manually make entries such as moods and cravings. Based on the entries, the apps display messages to help the user stay quit. Some apps also display statistics such as money saved, smoke free days, cigarettes resisted, and time from last cigarette. Although this is a step up from text messaging services, a high level of commitment is required to keep track of smoking patterns and moods using the app.
Therapy and counselling: Behavioral therapists, psychiatrists, and quit clinics offer quit programs to help people quit smoking. Depending on user’s smoking habits, the quit program is tailored based on the needs of the user.
A combination of one-on-one counselling, medications, and other smoking cessation products recommended during these quit programs drastically increase success rates. Many manufacturers of smoking cessations products such as nicotine gums and medications recommend that they should be used together with counselling or specific behavioral change techniques. With these advantages, comes the downside of cost and time commitment. Quit programs usually last up to 8-12 weeks, where patients are expected to show up for regular appointments and report their progress. The average cost per visit is $100, excluding the smoking cessation products.
Average cost: $100 per session