Globally, the consumption of tobacco products results in the death of six million people per year, says The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is predicted that by 2030, this annual death toll will rise to eight million, according to this source.Smoking kills approximately 480,000 people per year in the United States alone, and those who smoke live 10 years less on average than those who do not. The upside to these grim facts is that smoking is the leading preventable cause of death. So, while quitting smoking is difficult, there are many resources to teach people how to quit smoking, or at least make the transition easier. Nicotine replacement therapy – a group of smoking cessation products – is among these resources.
What is Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
Most people are aware that smoking is an addictive habit; this applies to both the mental and physical aspects of addiction. Nicotine is the chemical in tobacco that acts as the primary catalyst for dependence. The physically addictive nature of tobacco makes quitting smoking that much more troublesome. This is where nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT for short, can be useful. Nicotine replacement therapy is used during the cessation process is order to provide people with a small amount of nicotine, without the addition of the other harmful chemicals in cigarettes. For people trying to figure out how to quit smoking, there are a large variety of NRT products available to suit different needs. All of the following information and treatment recommendations are provided by Cancer.org.
- Nicotine Gum – NRT gum is a fast-acting option for smoking cessation. It comes in different strengths, each containing a set amount of nicotine. It is recommended that people chew no more than 24 pieces of gum per day for a period of six to 12 weeks. People should aim to reduce the amount of gum they chew over the span of six months. NRT gum can be purchased over-the-counter.
- Transdermal Patches – NRT patches provide a set amount of nicotine through the skin. Patches should be placed above the waist; a common spot to put them is the arm or chest. Typically, individuals wear a high dose patch for the first four weeks of treatment, and switch to a lower dose patch during the subsequent four weeks. This helps wean them off without experiencing major withdrawal. Transdermal patches can be purchased without a prescription.
- Nasal Spray: NRT nasal spray delivers a dose of pure nicotine to the bloodstream by way of the mucous membranes in the nose. This method is extremely fast-acting and can only be obtained with a prescription. Due to the purity and quick delivery of NRT nasal spray, paired with the addictiveness of nicotine, short-term use of this tool is recommended.
- Inhaler: Much like NRT gum, inhalers deliver nicotine to the bloodstream via skin within the mouth. Inhalers are given on a prescription-only basis. A standard course of treatment includes use of four to twenty cartridges per day, reducing the intake slowly over a period of six months.
- Lozenges: NRT lozenges deliver nicotine to the body through the mouth. They come in different strengths; a course of treatment is usually one lozenge every hour for six weeks, followed by one every four hours for the next two weeks, and one every eight hours during the last two weeks.
What is Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Smoking Cessation?
Other quit smoking tips include the use of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) for smoking cessation. DTMS is a procedure created by Brainsway that uses electromagnetic impulses to stimulate areas of the brain involved in nicotine addiction (and other medical conditions). It is generally regarded as safe, effective and painless. Observation of 115 daily smokers, who smoked at least 20 cigarettes per day, showed that those who received high frequency dTMS had an abstinence rate of 44% at the study’s end, states Brainsway. A six-month follow up indicated that 33% of people in this group remained smoke-free.
Awareness about the harms of smoking has been on the rise for quite some time. By consuming tobacco products, people run the risk of developing a variety of serious problems. Quitting can be a physical and emotional struggle, but it is a worthwhile task to undertake. With the help of nicotine replacement products, some may find that attempts at smoking cessation are easier and more successful. 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.