For those who are stuck in the cyclical pattern that is nicotine addiction, the search for the best way to quit smoking may seem difficult and endless. In today’s society, most people are well aware of the dangerous consequences that come with frequent tobacco consumption. Even those who smoke are likely conscious of the downsides of smoking, though that does not make quitting any easier. There are a number of treatments that claim to work, but may not be beneficial at all. However, there are many that have proven to be successful for some people. Different medications and therapies are prescribed as smoking cessation tools on a regular basis. Even still, some people may be skeptical. This article will aim to inform people about the effectiveness of one management technique in particular: cognitive-behavioral therapy for smoking cessation.
Dangers of Smoking
The damage caused by habitual smoking negatively affects all areas of the body. At this time, an estimated 16 million Americans are living with a smoking-induced disease, says The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For each person who dies from complications directly caused by smoking, there are 30 who have a serious smoking-related illness, adds the source. Smoking tobacco products can cause or exacerbate:
- Lung disease
- Heart disease
- Chronic bronchitis
- Eye disease
- Erectile dysfunction
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Smoking Cessation
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a goal-oriented approach to problem solving. It aims to help patients recognize negative thought processes and behaviors, and how they contribute to issues in one’s life. By identifying these things, people learn to replace detrimental behaviors and thoughts with more useful ones, thereby altering the way they perceive, and react to, certain stimuli. CBT may be beneficial for those searching for the best way to quit smoking. It could potentially help people understand the mental and emotional reasons they smoke, and under what circumstances (such as stressful situations) they do so. Patients could then develop strategies for healthy coping when faced with a situation that triggers the desire to smoke.
A study of high school smokers indicated that cognitive-behavioral therapy was beneficial for helping them maintain abstinence from smoking. Participants underwent four weeks of contingency management (positive reinforcement for not smoking) prior to the smoking therapy being administered. This was done to ensure all participants were abstinent before the study began. Periodic urine tests were taken to determine nicotine levels in the body. Subjects received $2 for the first clean test, with increasing amounts for each subsequent clean sample. After this, the students were given four weeks of CBT, either three times per week for 15 minutes, or once a week for 45 minutes. Both conditions yielded the same results; 58% abstinence at the end of the study, dropping to 20% during the follow-up period, states The US National Library of Medicine.
Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Smoking Cessation
Another smoking therapy that may be effective for individuals who are trying to quit is deep transcranial magnetic stimulation, or deep TMS for short. Deep TMS harnesses the power of electromagnetic fields to stimulate areas of the brain involved in addiction and other illnesses. Data gained from a recent study indicated that heavy smokers (at least 20 cigarettes per day) who received high frequency deep TMS experienced a 33% abstinence rate six months after the study’s end, says Brainsway. A typical course of deep TMS treatment persists from four to six weeks, with patients undergoing 20 minutes of smoking therapy each day. The procedure is non-invasive and pain-free. For those in Southern California who are looking for Los Angeles smoking cessation programs, consulting a local practitioner may be of use.
The best way to quit smoking is to begin the tedious journey as early as possible. While the process will not be entirely pleasant, quitting is much healthier than the alternative in the long run. Utilizing management techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy and deep TMS may help some people stay on track to a smoke-free life. It is important to remember that each person is different and, as such, will respond in unique ways to treatment. The same treatment may not work for everyone, but may be worth a try to find out.
For those interested in deep transcranial magnetic stimulation as a smoking cessation tool in Los Angeles, Westside Neurotherapeutics, provides these treatments to stop smoking . For more information, contact the company by phone at 310.946.0008 or online at www.westsideneurotherapeutics.com.