Monday, September 25, 2006

Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking now is probably the best thing you could ever do for yourself with respect to your health. And since your health pretty much will determine the quality of life you will have, it’s not a reach to say quitting smoking immediately is one of the best things you could do for yourself period. In other words, if you had a choice between a big promotion or a guaranteed way to quit smoking, it would be far wiser to choose quitting smoking. Unfortunately, there are of course no guarantees in quitting smoking but there are a lot of stop smoking programs to help. However, it isn’t a joke when people say that nicotine is the most addictive substance known to man; it is. With this in mind, its easy to see why even the best stop smoking programs have high failure rates. If you’re like me and you’ve ever been addicted to nicotine, you understand. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you are presently addicted and know what I’m talking about. You shouldn’t be discouraged by the statistics, however. Quitting smoking is definitely possible, and can be made a lot easier with the right stop smoking program and a positive mental attitude about it. Today the most effective commonly used stop smoking program involves the use of a prescription drug called Zyban. Zyban, which was originally intended as an anti-depressant, has been proven to lower nicotine cravings considerably, and has a significantly better success rate than traditional nicotine replacement therapies. For example, the studies I’ve seen show that people who used Zyban alone had a 30% success rate after a year, compared to 15% amongst those that just used nicotine replacement. Combining the two together in a stop smoking program improves these percentages even more. Without any kind of stop smoking program, the success rates after a year are only around 5%, so while the above percentages may seem low they are a huge improvement over the ‘cold turkey’ style. I personally didn’t use Zyban when I quit smoking, only because it wasn’t available then. I used the gum, and although I failed several times (three I think) I eventually got it right. You can expect failure if you want to quit smoking, but don’t let it get you down. You probably at least made some progress, and if you keep trying you’ll eventually get it. It isn’t a question of willpower or toughness, and there’s no reason to torture yourself with nicotine withdrawal if you are thinking about quitting; be smart and look into some stop smoking programs.

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