Smoking is an easy habit to pick up, but it’s a horribly hard one to stop. According to U.S. News¹, there’s a 95 percent failure rate among people who try to quit without help.
Because cigarettes are highly addictive, trying to quit on your own can lead to failed attempts and frustration. But, if you turn to tried-and-true smoking cessation aids, quitting can be easier. Here are the best smoking cessation aids available right now.
1. Nicotine Patch
Sometimes, the key to quitting is to keep up your habit for a little while longer – and that’s exactly where the nicotine patch can help. The nicotine found in cigarettes is addictive because it stimulates the release of serotonin, dopamine, and other natural brain chemicals that make you happy. And one of the best ways to kick smoking for good is to wean yourself off this feel-good yet dangerous substance.
The nicotine patch is a form of nicotine replacement therapy, which mean it’s designed to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. As Very Well Mind² writes, weaning yourself off nicotine is often recommended over quitting cold turkey because it’s more effective.
Nicotine patches are small, self-adhesive patches that release a measured amount of nicotine through your skin. You can apply one to any hairless spot between your neck and waist every 24 hours.
Make sure to talk with your doctor about the right dosage. Many doctors will recommend a starting dose based on how heavily you smoked. The amount of nicotine in the patches gradually decreases over the course of treatment, and most people wear the patch for eight to 12 weeks.
A month’s supply of over-the-counter patches costs around $80, Healthline³ reports. If you typically smoked a pack a day, you’re saving money every month right off the bat by choosing the patch.
2. Nicotine Gum
Nicotine gum is a smoking cessation aid that offers twofold benefits: it helps you break your addiction to nicotine and the oral habit of placing a cigarette in your mouth.
Nicotine gum is easy to use. Pop a piece into your mouth and, as you chew, small amounts of nicotine will be absorbed through the tissues in your mouth. You can use up to 24 pieces of gum per day, chewing one every couple of hours when your cravings strike.
This special gum will make your mouth tingle with a peppery taste. You can also let the gum rest between your cheek and gums until the peppery taste and tingling disappear. This gives your mouth tissues time to absorb the nicotine.
You can buy nicotine gum over the counter at your local drugstore or pharmacy. It’s available in packs ranging from 20 to 180 pieces; Everyday Health⁴ estimates the average cost at about $4.50 per 10-piece pack of gum. The recommended course is 12 weeks.
3. Nicotine Inhaler
Like nicotine gum, a nicotine inhaler can help you alleviate both your nicotine cravings and the oral habits and patterns you’ve built after years of smoking. A nicotine inhaler is a device that releases nicotine vapor from a cartridge when you take a puff. It works just like a regular inhaler – when you breathe in, the vapor contains nicotine that enters your bloodstream through the lining of your throat and mouth.
“Inhaler” is something of a misnomer, though. The idea of this smoking cessation aid is to hold the vapor in your mouth for a few seconds, which allows the nicotine to be fully absorbed, and then blow it out without inhaling it into your lungs.
Each cartridge is good for about twenty minutes of active puffing. It’s easy to go through multiple inhaler cartridges per day. The treatment is designed for 12 weeks, and it’s only available through a doctor’s office. In order to get a nicotine inhaler, you need a prescription. The average cost is $5 for a pack of 42 nicotine cartridges, Everyday Health⁵ reports.
If you suffer from other health issues, it’s important to note that nicotine inhalers aren’t recommended for people with asthma or other breathing issues.
Stop Smoking for a Healthier Life
The benefits of kicking your smoking habit far outweigh the cost, inconvenience, side effects, and stress of picking up yet another pack of cigarettes. Smoking is an incredibly dangerous habit, and it’s one that’s already claimed tens of thousands of lives. Quitting doesn’t have to be impossible if you use one of these cessation aids to help end your addiction.
Talk to your doctor today about quitting for good and prolonging your life. Swapping out cigarettes for one of these effective smoking cessation aids can change your life and your health, keeping you from serious health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and other deadly ailments – but only if you quit now.
Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.