Quitting Smoking; What Works?
Did you resolve to quit smoking only 6 weeks ago and are still lighting up?
Does this mean it's impossible? No-you just might need a little more support,
that's all. A review in the Journal of the American Medical Association
(8/9/00) reports that combining 2 general types of treatment has the best
chance of success: drug therapy combined with behavioral counseling. Smoking
is so highly addictive, however, that even when combining these 2 approaches,
only 1 out of 3 smokers remains cigarette-free after one year.
Many smokers blame themselves for not having the "willpower" to stop smoking.
But since smoking is an addictive learned behavior, researchers emphasize that
smokers must learn new behaviors in order to quit. Physicians who focus on
the physical addiction and the nicotine withdrawal symptoms emphasize using
nicotine replacement to insure success. Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include
irritability, impatience, restlessness, impaired concentration, insomnia, increased
appetite, anxiety and depressed mood. The good news is that these symptoms
generally peak 2 to 3 days after quitting, and become less intense over 1 to
Many smokers try hypnosis or acupuncture to quit although studies show they
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Created: 2/15/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.