Nicotine addiction: Quitting smoking is possible

Sacrifice Chirisa Mental Health Matters
There are several methods that have been shown to be effective in helping people to stop smoking. Most treatments for quitting smoking can be broadly classified into three approaches:

1) Psychological/behavioural

2) Nicotine replacement

3) Anti-smoking medication

There is no single approach to quit smoking that has been found effective for all people who smoke. As with all of these smoking interventions:

Psychological/behavioural: Interventions are generally more structured and include such things as identifying the individual’s cues and triggers for smoking and developing alternative skills to help the individual cope with those situations.

Nicotine replacement therapy: There are four main nicotine replacement products available including:

Nicotine gum — The gum delivers the nicotine rapidly through the mucous membrane of the mouth. Nicotine gum is available over the counter and can be purchased at most pharmacies.

Transdermal patch — Also called a nicotine patch, this approach provides a consistent dose of nicotine through the skin and can be titrated down to lower and lower doses as the physical dependence diminishes.

Nasal spray — The nasal spray delivers nicotine to the bloodstream rapidly as the nicotine is absorbed through the nose. It is available only by prescription.

Nicotine Inhalers — The nicotine inhaler is a thin plastic tube (like a cigarette) with a cartridge inside. The nicotine inhaler delivers most of the nicotine vapour to mouth (not to the lungs) and mimics smoking behaviour.

Anti-smoking medication: Currently there are two main prescription medications that may be prescribed to help people quit smoking:

Bupropion — It is a prescription anti-depressant marketed under the brand names Wellbutrin (for depression) and Zyban (for smoking cessation). It is thought to affect chemicals in the brain that are related to nicotine craving. It can be used either alone or in conjunction with nicotine replacement therapy.

Varenicline (Chantix) — was developed solely to help people to quit smoking and is one of the newest medication approaches available. Chantix works by interfering with nicotine receptors in the brain. This interference decreases the pleasurable effects of the nicotine and reduces the unpleasant symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

This is a discourse to alert members of the public of the availability of strategies to help those who want to stop smoking.

We now have most of these in Zimbabwe and Highlands Half Way House runs programmes to help individuals to stop smoking.

Source :

The Herald

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