Quitting Therapies

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Preparing To Quit
Quitting Therapies
The First 2 Weeks
Staying smokefree
How to avoid weight gain
Sources of Support               

Quitting therapies

Always consult your doctor or a qualified practitioner before embarking upon a quitting therapy.


Nicotine Replacement Therapy

NRT can be very useful during the first few weeks because it can help you to control your body’s withdrawal symptoms. Once you get used to being a non-smoker you can wean yourself off the NRT all together. This therapy is much less addictive and much safer (no tar, no carbon monoxide etc.) than smoking cigarettes but it’s not a magic cure, you need to be committed to quitting. Research has shown that, if you’re ready to quit, NRT patches, gum and inhalators can double your chances of quitting smoking successfully. Always ask your doctor or chemist for advice on which one would suit you best and be sure to follow the instructions on the packet carefully.

Be aware that NRT does not give you any more commitment to stop smoking, this has to come from you. It does not get rid of the withdrawal symptoms completely and it does not work equally well for everyone. That said, it does boost your confidence and give you room to concentrate on kicking the psychological part of your smoking addiction before you deal with the physical nicotine addiction.

Nicotine gum

Nicotine patches

Nicotine inhalator


Alternative therapies

Herbal medicine

St John’s Wort has sometimes been called the Poor Man’s NRT. It does not contain nicotine but it does help to combat the effects of nicotine withdrawal by alleviating some of the anxiety.  If you're interested in finding out more about it call the St. John's Wort Information Centre on 01280 709877.  Skullcap, Valerian and Vervain have also been recommended as suitable herbal remedies for people who are trying to stop smoking. Your best bet would be to go into your local chemists and ask about these herbal therapies by name. You should always consult a professional practitioner for recommended doses on any medicinal herbal remedy.

Important note:  A recent report in the Lancet medical journal warns that mixing St John's Wort with other medicines may be bad for your health.  St John's Wort can interact dangerously with some prescription drugs.  

The Hypoglycemic diet

The best withdrawal diet is one which keeps your blood sugar level constant and so doing stops you from developing lots of food cravings. In order to follow this diet you will need to cut out sugar and highly processed foods and you will need to eat six meals a day (complex carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables) and lots of fresh fruits.

Other alternative therapies

Acupuncture and hypnosis are also available to help deal with smoking addiction and, if you are interested in these, you should contact a clinic near you.


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Last modified: August 03, 2000