Products and Therapies to Help You Quit Smoking

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Wyatt Myers on December 5, 2021
  • Smoking
    Ways to Help You Kick the Habit for Good
    If you smoke, chances are good that you know you should quit. The health problems linked to smoking are proven. Quitting is hard, but it's still well within reach for everyone. Sometimes, you just need a little help getting over the hump. Lots of products are on the market to help you quit. Support groups and alternative treatments are other options. It helps to work with your doctor to find the way that's best for you. You can start by considering these six options:
  • chewing gum
    Nicotine Replacement Gum or Lozenges
    These stop-smoking aids replace the nicotine you would normally get from smoking. But, they do it in a controlled way. Most come in two strengths: 2 or 4 milligrams. The strength determines how many you can have in a day. Most people use one every 1 or 2 hours while they're awake. The goal is to scale back how many you have each day over the course of a few months until you no longer need them. Many people find gum or lozenges effective. This is especially true for those who have an oral craving for cigarettes. The gum and lozenges are available over the counter (without a prescription from your doctor).
  • Woman Applying a Nicotine Patch
    Nicotine Replacement Patches
    Nicotine patches also are available without a prescription. You wear each patch for 24 hours. If the patch interferes with your sleep, you can take it off right before bed and put a new one on in the morning. The patches range in strength. Usually there are three levels. This lets you scale down as time goes on. Directions suggest wearing the patch on an upper arm or the chest. You should vary where you put it to avoid irritating your skin. Always dispose carefully to protect curious children.
  • Nicotine Inhaler
    Sprays and Inhalers
    Nicotine sprays and inhalers require a prescription. These quit-smoking aids satisfy the craving to smoke by delivering a nicotine mist to your body. The spray goes into your nose. The mist from an inhaler enters your lungs through your mouth. At first, you'll use these products often. For instance, you might use the inhaler 6 to 16 times a day. You might use the nasal spray once or twice an hour. Then, over time, you'll taper off gradually.
  • Women picking up prescription at pharmacy
    Prescription Medicines
    A few oral drugs can be effective stop-smoking aids. They all require a prescription. Varenicline (Chantix) blocks the nicotine receptors in the brain, which helps you quit. Bupropion (Zyban, Aplenzin) is an antidepressant that reduces the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Nortriptyline, also an antidepressant, and clonidine, a blood pressure medication, are other drugs that sometimes help. You may use these with or without nicotine replacement therapy, depending on your doctor’s advice.
  • Young woman calling
    Quit-Smoking Support
    Quitting smoking is tough, especially if you’re going it alone. You may find strength in the support and encouragement of others. There are in-person groups as well as online and phone support groups. This approach has the backing of scientific research. The American Heart Association  has a web page with links to several resources for both support groups and telephone hotlines.
  • woman-meditation
    Alternative Remedies
    Some alternative treatments may play a supporting role in helping you quit smoking. There is little scientific study on many of these approaches. But, practices like acupuncture and meditation can help reduce stress, and quitting smoking can be stressful. Many people have had success by adding these therapies to their plan for quitting. Use of hypnosis is controversial, but it works for some people. Its aim is to remove the unconscious triggers in your life that increase the cravings for cigarettes.
  • Electronic Cigarette
    Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have become more and more popular. They are part of a group of products known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Users inhale a vapor that contains nicotine and other substances. Many e-cigarette makers claim they're safer than cigarettes. Some even suggest them as a way to quit regular cigarettes. However, neither the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor the American Lung Association approves of them as a way to quit smoking. Also, the FDA does not regulate the devices. Health experts say that puts their safety in question. They say it’s best to steer clear of e-cigarettes completely.
Products and Therapies to Help You Quit Smoking

About The Author

  1. Medicines That Can Help You Quit Smoking. American Heart Association.
  2. Prescription Drugs to Help You Quit Smoking. American Cancer Society.
  3. Resources to Help You Quit Smoking. American Heart Association.
  4. E-cigarettes and Lung Health. American Lung Association.
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Last Review Date: 2021 Dec 5
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.