Smoking is enjoyable and destructive.
It calms and kills: Cancer of the throat/lips/lungs; emphysema/bronchitis/pneumonia/shortness of breath/chronic cough; heart disease/heart attack/ angioplasty/stroke; back and disk trouble; and increased lung disease and birth defects in children exposed to smoke. There are many medications to assist one's effort to stop smoking; the nicotine inhaler/nasal spray/patches or gum, acupuncture, clonidine tablets or Catapres patches, Buspar, bupropion (Wellbutrin or Zyban) and anti-depressants like Paxil, Luvox, Zoloft and desipramine.
- Every time you want to smoke, make yourself wait 60 seconds by counting "1 no cigarette, 2 no cigarettes, 3...up to 60 no cigarettes." Just by doing this, you will reduce your smoking 50%!!
- Nicoret gum, and nicotine patches are available over-the-counter and are cheaper at the large wholesale houses. To save money, the patches may be cut in ½, used during the day only, 2 days in a row. That is, each patch can last you 4 days. Some patients require the higher dose patches.
- Let someone else hold your cigarettes for you. They must be agreeable to giving you a cigarette without an argument one minute after you request it. That's how I stopped smoking.
- Bupropion may be helpful. 75, 100 or 150 mg tablets worked up gradually and progressively to 2 times a day if necessary. Use 1 a day for 3 days and up to twice daily for 7-12 weeks or as directed. The Nicotrol Inhaler can be used 6-16 puffs per day (read directions). The Nicotine Nasal Spray can be used at 1-2 puffs an hour up to 40 puffs per day.
- Don't buy cigarettes for yourself anymore. Buy cigarettes for people around you who still smoke and bum cigarettes from them whenever you want/need one. Call 1-800-U-CAN-QUIT or 1-800-4-SMOKERS OR 1-800-NICODERM or 888-890-2STOP.
- Talk to your friends: Complain/wish/want/moan.
- Change your brand, switch to cigars, buy a pipe, but don't keep doing the same old thing. Avoid coffee. Try Inka coffee substitute or Raja's Cup. Avoid sweets/meat/ fried food/chocolate and stay out of smoking situations such as bars or with friends who smoke.
- Eat a very high fiber, low fat whole grain-vegetable-bean type diet. Try Smoke Enders, take a walk, drink a glass of water.
- Try not to smoke for more than an hour after you first awaken and try not to smoke at any meal. Make a specific effort to get your cigarettes down to under 10 per day, that is the addiction level.
- Visualize yourself as a non-smoker.
- If you must have a cigarette, take 3 or 4 drags and then gently tamp it out. Don't throw it away; the next time you want a cigarette, re-light that same cigarette.
- Try inexpensive "panatella" cigars if you must smoke.
H. Robert Silverstein, MD