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I Want to Stop Smoking: What Resources Are Available to Me, How Do I Do It, Are There Any Medications?

If you’re looking to quit smoking, there are many resources available to help you, and the desire to quit is a huge step in the right direction.

Telephone helplines are offered by the American Cancer Society at 866-QUIT-4-LIFE (866-784-8454) around the clock 24/7 and the American Lung Association at 800-LUNGUSA (800-586-4872). The American Lung Association also offers a “Freedom From Smoking” support program, which can be accessed online.

Ask your healthcare provider about Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), which is designed to help lessen the physical dependence of the body upon nicotine. This is done by giving nicotine to the body through gum, patches, sprays, inhalers, or lozenges, but withholding the harmful chemicals in tobacco. This gives the body time to cope with less intense physical withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings. It also allows you to focus more on the psychological aspects of quitting.

Consult your doctor if you are particularly dependent on nicotine, as prescription drugs such as Varenicline (Chantix) or Bupropion (Zyban) have proven to help people quit smoking tobacco. Chantix interferes with nicotine receptors in the brain and thus reduces the pleasure of smoking and the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Zyban (also known by the brand names Wellbutrin and Aplenzin) is an antidepressant that helps to reduce cravings and other withdrawal symptoms by working on brain chemicals related to nicotine craving.

With both of these medications, it’s important to maintain other support systems for quitting during the weeks you take them and for a time afterwards.

If you wish to learn more or discuss your concerns with an expert – or you simply want to “breathe better” again – call “The Lung Docs” at 423-710-3864 for an appointment. It’s one number, one call, that’s all!