Quitting smoking is one of the most important steps people can take to improve their health. It is also one of the hardest. That is why aids such as nicotine gum and nicotine patches have been so popular over the years. But a new study suggests that they work about as well as going cold turkey. Investigators from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts found that about two-thirds of smokers who quit had begun smoking again within four to five years. Those who relied on nicotine replacement therapy were just as likely to relapse as those who quit without a nicotine crutch.
[Tobacco Control, Jan. 2012]

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  1. Sarah
    Reply

    I haven’t smoked in 75 days. I am 30 years old and this is, believe it or not, my 9th attempt at quitting smoking. All of the times I have tried to quit I have done elimination diets or completely altered my lifestyle. This time, the only alteration I made was eliminating cigarette smoking. Each time I have attempted quitting I have found many ‘reasons’ why I smoke. With most addictions, it’s not the substance but the emotional attachment to the substance that is the problem.
    It could be something you avoid feeling or doing, it has been for me. It’s also the ritual of it all. I have never used nicotine replacement therapy, as it makes no sense to me to put a substance you are addicted to into your body to curb your addiction. I made it a habit to ask myself, when I have wanted to smoke, why do I want to smoke? Will smoking actually help me achieve that need/want/relief?
    I have also found tea tree oil chewing sticks dipped in mint oil to be a nice & refreshing distraction from cravings. Also promotes good oral hygiene. Good luck & remember it is a time of healing not only the physical self, but the emotional self as well.

  2. Karen
    Reply

    Nicotine patches are intended to replace cigarettes, not to help get people off tobacco.
    There’s too much money to be made in selling to people who are simply shifting their source of nicotine from a publicly-unacceptable version to an invisible form for this product to be about “stopping.”
    I don’t understand why some activists are protesting development of a new version of oral morphine (because it can establish life-long dependence) while they ignore the life-long sales pipeline of non-cigarette nicotine delivery systems.

  3. CJ
    Reply

    I think the media does a disservice to make a big deal out of people who try nicotine replacement and then relapse. People might use that as an excuse not to try. There is much more to overcome than just the nicotine, and with a patch or gum, it gives you some time to get over the habit itself while gradually reducing the addiction to nicotine. It took me nine months on the patch to finally quit for good, twelve years ago and never again!

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