Dr, I have been a smoker for 21 years. I have tried to stop smoking many times but I always end up smoking again. Is there a drug that can help me stop?
Cigarette smoking is implicated in causation of many cancers and other health problems apart from wasting one’s income. There are more than 250 chemical ingredients in tobacco which are harmful to health, making it imperative then that for good health one must not smoke and if they are already smoking, it’s never too late to stop.
When one smokes, they feel elated and want to smoke again and again, eventually getting addicted. As with any other addiction, whenever one tries to stop smoking, they will get nasty symptoms (withdrawal symptoms) which are relieved by smoking and therefore they keep smoking even with the strongest resolve to stop.
Nicotine in tobacco is the ingredient that leads to addiction and therefore, the nasty withdrawal symptoms such as bad moods and cravings when one stops smoking. Low level of nicotine amounts however being a lesser evil in harming health can be used to help make one stop smoking.
Substituting smoking with electronic cigarettes, nicotine patches, nicotine gum, nicotine sprays, and nicotine lozenges can help one stop smoking since the help stop withdrawal symptoms.
A drug Varenicline which interferes with the brain locations where nicotine sits to cause its addiction (nicotine receptors) can also be used to reduce the pleasure that one gets from tobacco use, apart from decreasing the nasty nicotine withdrawal symptoms and stop smoking for good. Varenicline can be started a week or two before trying to quit smoking, and may be given for at least 12 weeks, but it can be continued for longer if necessary.
Bupropion an antidepressant, that works on the parts of the brain involved in addictive behaviour can also be used to help people quit smoking. A nicotine vaccine that leads to formation of antibodies that occupy nicotine receptors to do away with the pleasure of smoking and addiction is also in the pipeline.
There is no better treatment to stop smoking because treatment may depend on one’s.