Smoking is a hard habit to break because tobacco contains the very addictive chemical nicotine. As with heroin or other addictive drugs, the body and mind quickly get used to the nicotine in cigarettes. Soon, a person needs to have it just to feel normal. People start smoking for different reasons.
Seventy percent of the 46 million Americans who smoke want to quit. But successful quitting rates are dismal. Smokers usually try to quit several times before permanently kicking the habit, and smokers who don’t participate in a smoking cessation program fail 95 percent of the time.
But don’t despair. Each year about 1.3 million smokers do quit. Since 1965, more than 40 percent of all adults who have ever smoked have quit. And research shows that with good smoking cessation programs, 20 to 40 percent of participants are able to quit smoking and stay off cigarettes for at least one year. There are a lot of different ways to give up smoking, but research shows you’ll have the best chance of quitting if you take the following steps: Take time to prepare yourself mentally; get support and encouragement from people around you or professionals; learn new skills and behaviors to help you cope without cigarettes; get medication and use it correctly; and prepare yourself for difficult situations and setbacks.
Cigarettes are incredibly addictive, so quitting often ends with failure. However, there are a few smoking cessation aids which can make the whole ordeal much more manageable. Take a look at the best one below:
Among other feel-good brain chemicals, nicotine stimulates serotonin and dopamine release. For that reason, quitting cold turkey is not always the best solution. That’s why you might want to wean yourself off with nicotine patches.
A nicotine patch reduces cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. Very Well Mind recommends reducing your intake rather than quitting abruptly due to a slew possible health risks and because it’s more effective.
Nicotine patches, as the name suggests, are small adhesive patches that give you a low dose of nicotine through contact with your skin. It is recommended that you apply one every 24 hours on a hairless spot located between your waist and neck. But before trying these patches, consult your doctor for dosage and expect to wear patches for up to 12 weeks. One month of nicotine patches cost about $80, according to Healthline.
This smoking cessation aid helps you stop smoking and break the habit of having a cigarette between your lips. Nicotine gum is just like regular gum, but it releases nicotine while you chew.
Depending on your cravings, you can use up to 24 pieces of nicotine gum each day. When using this smoking cessation aid, expect a tingling feeling in your mouth along with a pepper-like taste.
Nicotine gum is available without a prescription at local pharmacies and drugstores. Packs can have anywhere from 20 to 180 pieces of gum, and Everyday Health states that the average cost is just under $5 for ten pieces of gum.
Like the other aids, a nicotine inhaler helps with cravings and oral habits related to smoking. This device uses a cartridge that releases nicotine vapor when you take a puff.
An inhaler is not the right word for this device though because you’re not supposed to inhale into your lungs. You’re supposed to hold the vapor in your mouth and wait for the absorption of nicotine before blowing everything out.
Cartridges last about 20 minutes of puffing so you might go through more than one cartridge per day. A nicotine inhaler should be used for 12 weeks, and you have to get a prescription from your doctor to use it. Everyday Health says that 42 nicotine cartridges cost an average of $5. Keep in mind that nicotine inhalers are not for patients with asthma and similar conditions.
Stop Smoking and Enjoy a Healthy Life
The advantages of kicking your nicotine addiction outweigh the downsides of cutting out cigarettes. After all, smoking claims thousands of lives through cancer and heart disease and has many adverse short-term side effects.
Consult your doctor as soon as possible about quitting cigarettes and enjoying a healthier life by choosing one of the effective smoking cessation aids listed above. Do your research online, compare available options, and discover the best approach for you.
 “Smoking Cessation,” US News.
 “The risks of quitting cold turkey,” Very Well Mind, Elizabeth Hartney, 2 October, 2019.
 “Forgotten drug works better nicotine patches to help smokers quit,” Healthline, Cameron Scott, 17 December, 2014.
 “What you need to know about nicotine gum,” Everyday Health, Dennis Thompson Jr, 9 May, 2011.