Receiving help to quit smoking improves your chances of success compared to doing it alone. The research shows that the success rate of quitting without help is only around 5% for each attempt. But if you receive help using methods with proven benefits, you’re up to 5 times more likely to be successful.

There are different helpful methods available. To decide which suits you from a health and personal viewpoint, it’s best to talk with an expert such as your doctor or Quitline. Here is an overview to get you started.

Medications

Medications that increase the chances of quitting include prescription medications as well as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). They help to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms in different ways.

Nicotine is the drug in tobacco that causes addiction. When you stop smoking nicotine levels decrease in your body, which can cause withdrawal symptoms (such as mood changes, increased appetite and the urge to smoke).

    Prescription medications fight the withdrawal symptoms in the brain. NRT aims to reduce withdrawal symptoms by replacing some of the nicotine in the body previously provided by cigarettes.

Their suitability to your situation including side effect risks should be checked with your doctor first.

Support

Research has also found that support for people trying to quit increases success. Support involves giving you practical advice, encouragement and new skills for quitting, and the opportunity to express your feelings. The proven types of support include:

    Talking to your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. Seeing an individual quit counsellor face to face. Joining a quit counselling group for meetings. Speaking to a counsellor over the phone.

Combine the help

While a specific medication or form of support is helpful on its own, receiving both types of help at the same time is the most effective. Together they can achieve a 25% success rate of quitting.

Other methods not recommended

Other methods of help aren’t recommended because the research shows they’re either ineffective or not enough research has been done yet.

These include: hypnotherapy, acupuncture, naltrexone, aversive or rapid smoking, biomedical feedback, exercise, Allen Carr method, St John’s wort and electronic cigarettes. However if you’re determined to try one, speak to your doctor beforehand, particularly to check for risks.

For more information on quitting visit: www.morethanmedication, http://www.quitnow.gov.au/, Quitline 137848

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