Health & Wellness

How to Quit Smoking for the Last Time

By on 03/02/2015

Most smokers want to quit smoking. While some people can white-knuckle physical withdrawal symptoms and stop smoking “cold turkey,” others need additional support. This is where a doctor can really help. There are prescription medications now available to help manage the physical effects of quitting. Doctors can recommend support groups, alternative therapies such as acupuncture, and nicotine replacement products.

Discuss these and other smoking cessation tips with your doctor to decide which approach is best for you: quit smoking


A pulmonary function test reveals the effects of smoking on your lungs. This can be a real eye opener.


Varenicline is a pill that reduces the urge to smoke by blocking the effects of nicotine on the brain. Bupropion is an antidepressant also prescribed as a smoking cessation aid because it helps balance the chemicals in your brain in a way that reduces the symptoms of withdrawal. Ask your doctor about these and other medicines.


Products that contain nicotine (such as gum, lozenges and nicotine transdermal patches) can be used to ease a person’s dependence on nicotine. However, nicotine replacement therapies contain double or even triple the nicotine of cigarettes so it’s really important to cut down or quit smoking while you are using them. Otherwise, you put yourself at risk for nicotine toxicity, which can cause serious cardiac problems.


You have to want to quit to succeed. This approach works best for the most self-motivated quitters as well as those who have more of a behavioral addiction than a physical one.
Complementary Therapies: Hypnotherapy and acupuncture are two popular modalities that have helped people quit smoking.


Don’t go it alone. Ask your doctor about local support groups and programs.


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Review Date: October 29, 2016
Reviewed By: Andrew Overman, PT, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS
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