There are medical treatments that can greatly facilitate your transition from smoker to non-smoker, with all the health benefits and reduced insurance premiums that go with it.
The process begins with a complete medical history and physical examination, with particular attention to your respiratory and mental health history. An old antidepressant called Welbutrin has been shown to help people quit smoking, and it helps many people through the withdrawal symptoms.
The new medication used to help you quit smoking is called Chantix. It was originally developed as an anti-depressant. It proved to be not so great for depression, but researchers noticed that people who wanted to quit smoking were able to do so while on this medication. And viola, a new smoking treatment was born.
The major side effects of this medication are mental health issues, particularly mood swings, depression, and even suicidal ideas. If you have a history of suicide attempts, this is probably not the medicine for you. But if you are mentally healthy and alert to changes in mood and disposition, and if you will call and report those changes promptly, it is safe to take this lifesaving medication.
We advise you to start while you are still smoking, and allow your appetite for a cigarette to decline before you quit. Enlist the help of family members, particularly those who continue to smoke, to support you in your desire to quit. That may include asking your family members and friends to smoke outside your presence while you are still fragile in your recovery.
An online support group can be helpful as you experience the changes in habits and lifestyle that used to surround your smoking. Are there other activities for you to substitute for the “after meal smoke” or the “after sex cigarette” you have become accustomed to? A little creative thinking can help you past the barriers that have prevented you from quitting in the past.
Chantix is an FDA approved treatment that has been proven effective in helping smokers quit the habit. The medication is generally continued for 12 weeks. You may require “booster doses” of medication, at a lower dose or shorter time frame in the months that follow your quit date. As you become more solid in your new way of life, those hard times will become milder and less frequent.
The effort you invest in defeating your smoking habit will pay off in spades as your health improves and your financial situation changes. It is amazing how much money you can spend on cigarettes, higher health insurance premiums, and cleaning bills. You will feel stronger, breathe easier, your sense of smell will improve, your food will taste better, and best of all, you will live longer if you take the plunge and quit smoking.