While the number of people who smoke in the United States has plummeted in recent decades, there are still roughly 35 million Americans who continue to be regular smokers. This number mushrooms to a staggering one billion smokers once you factor in the entire human population.
If you’re a smoker who wants to quit, there’s never going to be a better time than now. With that said, we won’t pretend the task is anything but hard An addiction is inherently difficult to stop, especially when its rooted in chemical dependence.
For those who are serious about quitting, here are the most popular options for accomplishing the task:
Quitting cold turkey refers to when a person simply stops smoking one day with the goal of never smoking again. This is a common method for those attempting to quit for the first time.
If someone is able to power through their nicotine withdrawal symptoms, quitting cold turkey is a very effective method of giving up cigarettes. However, evidence suggests only about five percent of smokers who try to quit cold turkey end up quitting for good. Most end up picking up the habit again within a year.
When someone uses an e-cigarette, they are essentially recreating the entire process of smoking a traditional cigarette except for one key difference: they’re inhaling vapor instead of smoke. Vapor lacks the carcinogens found in burnt tobacco, making it a healthier alternative to smoking.
Many former smokers consider e-cigs to be a game changer in their efforts to quit smoking. Not only does discount vape juice come in a variety of different flavors, but the nicotine concentration also varies as well. This means that over time, users can dial down the amount of nicotine they’re consuming when they vape. Before long, they’re able to say they no longer have an addiction to nicotine, at least not as much as they did.
Nicotine replacement therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy options have been with us for decades. One of the original NRTs to hit the consumer market is the nicotine patch. Another popular NRT is nicotine gum.
The goal of NRT is to slowly wean someone off their addiction to nicotine. Similar to e-juice, NRTs can have a varying level of nicotine, which allows people to try and depend on less each day until that sum becomes zero.
As of 2019, the Food and Drug Administration has approved two prescription drugs to be marketed as smoking cessation aids. The first is bupropion, which is also used to treat depression. The other is varenicline, which is specifically designed to help smokers quit.
Bupropion has been shown to help lower the intensity of nicotine cravings in users. By regularly taking bupropion, users hope to feel the urge to smoke diminish, to the point where it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when they’re under stress or otherwise upset. While also helping to curb nicotine cravings, varenicline goes an extra step by reducing the pleasurable effects of smoking. Those taking varenicline are allowed to keep smoking, with many soon realizing they honestly don’t want to anymore.
The drastic reduction in the number of smokers is a great victory for public health, but the battle is not over yet. About one billion people still smoke every day. If you’re one of them, seriously consider giving quitting a try.