Smoking: How To Stop

Smoking: How To Stop: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions related to smoking and how to stop:

Q: I’ve smoked for 30 years. Will quitting do any good or has the damage already been done?

A: It’s never too late to quit smoking. The benefits begin just 20 minutes after your last cigarette. After 15 years of not smoking, your risk of heart disease and death is similar to someone who has never smoked.

Q: Isn’t there a pill I can take to quit smoking?

A: Nicotine is a powerful addiction and there is no “magic pill” that will completely alleviate your withdrawal symptoms. However there are a number of aids to help ease withdrawal, including: nicotine gum, patches, nasal sprays, inhalers, and an anti-depressant that has been approved as an aid to quit smoking. These medications, together with a support program, may be able to help you quit.

Q: Won’t I gain a lot of weight if I quit smoking?

A: You’ll probably only gain about seven pounds when you quit, due to increased appetite and changes in your metabolism. You should initially concentrate on stopping smoking, and worry about weight gain when and if it occurs.

Q: Is it better to stop cold turkey or cut back gradually?

A: It’s less effective to gradually cut back than it is to stop completely. Choose a target day about a week ahead of time and stop smoking on that day.

Q: If I use an aid containing nicotine, won’t I become addicted to it?

A: Medications used to stop smoking deliver less nicotine than cigarettes and are especially useful during the first three or four weeks, when withdrawal symptoms are at their worst. From there, it’s usually easier to gradually eliminate them.

Q: I quit smoking six months ago and was doing fine, when out of the blue, I had an incredible urge to smoke. What’s wrong with me?

A: It’s normal to experience occasional strong urges to smoke after the initial withdrawal period for no apparent reason. That’s why it’s important to remain committed to a healthier lifestyle and realize that these urges will pass.

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