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Nicotine Cessation – It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it

Quitting nicotine isn’t easy, but there are many proven ways to help you do. You are not alone and don’t have to go cold turkey. Learn more about the many ways you can start your journey to a healthier life by stopping your use of nicotine.

Did you know that nicotine use causes stress due to the always changing levels of nicotine? Think about how your body handles the roller coaster of high then low, then high then low nicotine levels. Is that not enough motivation? Think about the young people in your life watching you and learning from what they see you doing. What about aesthetic reasons – are you done smelling like smoke, having yellow teeth and bad breath, creating wrinkles around your mouth and face? And of course, there are the health benefits to quitting. Not to mention, it’s expensive! There are many different tips and strategies that will help you successfully quit that unhealthy dependence. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is a highly effective yet underutilized tool in nicotine cessation. Along with NRT, understanding triggers and coming up with a plan for when triggers pop up is another way you can kick that harmful habit. Overall, if you want to quit nicotine use, there are ways you can prepare for your journey to increase your chances of being successful.

Prepare for success

First up, we will talk about Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). This includes medications such as Bupropion and Varenicline, better known as, Wellbutrin and Chantix, as well as the nicotine patch, gum and lozenges. When thinking about quitting nicotine, a good place to start is with your doctor. Your doctor can recommend and prescribe a few different options that may work best for you. The two medications widely used for nicotine cessation work in different ways. Bupropion helps you quit by reducing withdrawal symptoms. Varenicline works by making the use of nicotine no longer satisfying. Many people do not take advantage of medications when quitting nicotine use, but it has been shown to be very effective. The nicotine patch is another great option if you are looking to quit nicotine use. You put the patch on your skin and it lets out a slow and steady stream of nicotine into the body. This can help you kick the nicotine habit by reducing withdrawal symptoms and reducing urges. Many people do not realize that there are three different strength levels of the nicotine patch – 7mg, 14mg, and 21mg – so depending on your current nicotine usage, make sure you get what you truly need. Lastly, another good option for NRT are nicotine gum and lozenges. These are good options when you are having an urge. These can be used along with the medications or nicotine patch. Be sure you are using these correctly! With both the lozenge and gum, when you start to notice a tingling sensation, park the gum or lozenge between your cheek and gum and then continue using. There are many options out there. Find the combination that works best for you.

Another area to think about when quitting nicotine, is about what your triggers are and how you are going to combat them. Is one of your triggers you morning coffee? Switch to tea for a few months. Do you tend to reach for nicotine when you are stressed at work? Take a stroll outside instead. Keep in mind that it may be helpful to work on one trigger at a time rather than going all in from the beginning. Nicotine cessation in a marathon, not a sprint. Write down a list of your most common triggers, create a plan of what you are going to do instead when these triggers come up and pick which one you will focus on. Once you get that trigger down, start on another! Remember to write down your goals and motivations so you have something to refer back to and look at. You can do this. Take it one step at a time.

Don’t give up

Overall, there are ways to help you on your nicotine cessation journey. Talk to your doctor about using medications as well as other NRTs. Keep an open mind and be kind to yourself while going through this process and change. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it. And remember, the typical urge only lasts 3-4 minutes.

To learn more about these options talk with the provider at your on-site clinic, or your doctor. You can also learn more at