Things That Supposedly Help You Quit Smoking But Actually Don’t

05 Mar 2019

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 1 billion smokers worldwide with many being added daily. As per WHO, smoking is the leading preventable cause of death globally, with approximate 6 million fatalities caused due to smoking-related diseases. Despite a direct link having been proven between smoking and cancer, 90% who attempt to quit smoking fail. That is because smoking is one of the most difficult habits to give up, as nicotine is extremely addictive.

1. What is nicotine and how does it affect our bodies?

Nicotine, like many other drugs of abuse, releases dopamine, the feel-good hormone, which brings about a feeling of pleasure in the smoker. When a smoker tries to quit, there is a deficiency of dopamine which results in a severe craving for a smoke. Imbalance in other chemicals in the brain leads to severe withdrawal symptoms. Another reason why people have difficulty in giving up smoking is because nicotine is believed to act as a stimulant which might help smokers to focus or concentrate. So, a lack of nicotine results in them having trouble focusing on their tasks.

2. Do the following methods really help in quitting?

With the internet being the go-to medium for gathering information, smokers, unfortunately, end up reading a lot of unreliable and often factually incorrect material on what helps in quitting smoking. Let’s focus on some of the known products/methods which are said to help in quitting smoking but mostly don’t.

3. Quitting cold turkey

Deciding to quit smoking is a decision that requires immense will power and determination. It is even more difficult and a severe test of the smoker’s willpower if they decide to quit cold turkey. Quitting cold turkey means stopping smoking altogether at one go without any Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products or a gradual initiation into the process.

But is going cold turkey really effective as a method to quit smoking? Research has shown that only 4 – 7 % of people who go cold turkey are successful in kicking the habit through this method 1. One of the reasons could be that in addition to being a ‘bad habit’, it is an addiction that is physical, mental and social. Physically the smoker craves the high that nicotine gives him. With the first drag of the cigarette, nicotine reaches the brain and releases the feel-good hormone dopamine, generating a pleasant feeling all around. Mentally, dependency on smoking can extend to all parts of a smoker’s life, such as needing a smoke in order to work, focus or even function day to day. Socially, if the smoker is part of a friend circle that smokes, quitting might mean that they don’t fit in, which can be a big challenge to overcome.

Also, going cold turkey leads means that suddenly Nicotine is withdrawn from the body. This sudden drop in nicotine results in severe withdrawal symptoms. Smokers who quit cold turkey have to deal with acute withdrawal symptoms including headaches, irritation, depression, fatigue, inability to concentrate, in some cases even an upset stomach. With no support and counseling, cold turkey is a tough path to take when trying to quit smoking.

4. Vaping

Vaping or the usage of e-cigarettes has been promoted as the safer option for smokerswho want to quit smoking. E-cigarettes simulate the feeling of smoking an actual cigarette and are used as replacements to cigarettes. As e-cigarettes don’t use actual tobacco, they were marketed as a better option to actual cigarettes. But recent research findings have shown that vaping is also dangerous to health as it contains liquid nicotine and other flavoring agents, none of which have been approved by health authorities. Besides this, vaping has been linked to increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack and coronary heart disease 2.

5. Herbal cigarettes

Herbal cigarettes, as they do not contain tobacco are also known as nicotine-free or tobacco-free cigarettes and, as such, are advocated for smokers in place of regular cigarettes. They are made using herbs or plant material that is rolled up in standard rolling papers and cigarette filters. Although they are claimed to be nicotine-free, studies have shown that unlike the US and European-made herbal cigarettes, the Chinese made ones do contain tobacco and nicotine. Research studies, conducted over the years, have also shown that herbal cigarettes are as harmful in respect to carcinogenic properties.

In addition, the smoke emitted from herbal cigarettes contains toxic elements, similar to those found in normal tobacco cigarettes. So, in reality, herbal cigarettes can have adverse health implications.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) - the medically accepted way to quit smoking

Nicotine Replacement Therapy products, or NRTs as they are popularly known, are the medically accepted method of quitting smoking. Nicotine gums, lozenges, nasal sprays, and patches are NRTs which medical professionals recommend to smokers to help them quit smoking. NRTs deliver very small doses of Nicotine, helping the smoker to gradually wean off their nicotine addiction.

Nicotine gums provide small amounts of nicotine to the body which helps in curbing urges to smoke, as the smoker abstains from smoking cigarettes. Over a period of time, the smoker’s body learns to cope without nicotine, thus assisting him to quit. As chewing the gum is devoid of harmful elements such as tar and carbon monoxide, elements that are present in tobacco cigarettes, the harmful effects of those chemicals are eliminated.

Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult tasks for the user, which is why the statistics of people successfully quitting smoking is, unfortunately, low. Choosing the best, safest and medically approved approach is the first step towards kicking out this hazardous habit. Make an informed choice and opt for a healthier way to a long, happy life!

Nicotex, manufactured by Cipla, is a nicotine gum that helps the user quit smoking using the principle of WHO-approved Nicotine Replacement Therapy. This method helps you quit smoking by gradually reducing your dependence on nicotine. Available in two strengths: 2 mg and 4 mg, Nicotex controls your urge to smoke and supports your Willpower (4 mg should be taken only under doctor supervision). Nicotex doubles your chances of quitting compared to other alternatives and is the No. 1 doctor-recommended brand in India. Choose from 6 exciting variants - mint plus, fruity mint, cinnamon, paan, classic fresh mint, and teeth whitening.

Quit smoking today with #EkCigaretteKam