Aid Information

Quit Smoking Aids

Here's a news flash, people. Smoking is bad for you.

Okay, so that's not really news, but things are getting worse. In addition to all of the negative health effects associated with cigarettes, several states across the country have started taxing or raising existing tax levels on such products. For example, on July 1, 2005, Ohio raised their already-existing tax on cigarettes by 70 cents a pack. Health advocates applaud such moves, recognizing that people who can't afford to buy cigarettes won't be able to smoke.

Quitting can be awful tough, though. Even if your mind knows you really can't afford that pack of smokes, your body will still crave it. Such is the nature of addiction. So, how can you kick the habit for good? According to Terry Martin, the About.com Guide to Smoking Cessation, you first have to be 100-percent committed to giving up your cigarettes.

"Hands down, the very best smoking cessation aid on the planet is your own will and determination to quit smoking," Martin writes in her article, "Smoking Cessation Aids: Know Your Choices." "If you aren't motivated and committed to kicking the habit, there isn't a quit aid available which will work. That said, there are a variety of products on the market today to help people quit smoking in a gradual, more comfortable way. Choosing one that is right for you is a matter of preference."

There are many over-the-counter products designed to act as aids to help an individual quit smoking, and with all of the patches and gums and lozenges and inhalers on the market, it can be maddening trying to figure out which method will work the best. According to information posted on the Center for Disease Control's Tobacco Information and Prevention Source website, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the following OTC and prescription nicotine replacement therapies -- Nicorette gum; the Nicoderm, Habitrol, Prostep, and Nicotrol patches, Nicotrol inhaler and nasal spray, and the Commit lozenge.

Additionally, there is one other medication that has received FDA approval as an anti-smoking aid, and that is bupropion SR (sustained release). Bupropion, which is only available with a prescription and is available to smokers under the brand name Zyban SR, is by nature an anti-depressant. However, it has been found that this medication also helps quell nicotine cravings, thus helping to break one's physical addition to cigarettes. In addition, other smoking aids are expected to be approved soon, including rimonabant, which in tests has been found to not only block nicotine cravings, but also worked to prevent weight gain sometimes linked to nicotine withdrawal. Sources expect it to be available via prescription by 2006.