How to Properly Implement a Smoking Cessation Program for Heavy Smokers
It has been recorded recently that one in five men in Great Britain smoke cigarettes in 2014. This is the lowest number since the 70s. Then, half of the male population was into cigarette smoking. Yes, things have changed. However, stopping tobacco is still far from over.
A lot of people are still into smoking. And who could blame them? Nicotine has its way of getting people to stick with the habit. In fact, in the US, a lot of pregnant women smoke. According to statistics, around 300,000 infants are at risk because of this particular behavior. In addition to this, only 25% of smoking women quit completely before becoming pregnant.
Just how exactly are you going to stop a heavy smoker from smoking? It is imperative to develop an effective smoking cessation program tailor fitted to their needs.
It has been established that the success rate of smoking cessation is still reliant as to how heavy you smoke. If you are the type of smoker who ends up smoking a pack or more in a day, then perhaps, you need professional help. It is also advisable to use different methodologies in order to lessen the impact of the withdrawal symptoms.
Why do heavy smokers smoke?
In order to find a solution to this problem, it is imperative to understand why do smokers smoke? It has been explained by psychologists that smoking is a substitute to the carefree life. It is the substitute to early habits of carefree living. It has also been viewed as a reward by smokers. For instance, people associate a cigarette after a hard day at work.
For the psychoanalysts, it goes deeper than just being a reward. Smoking is a form of oral pleasure that satisfies oral fixations of individuals. This is something that could be traced to someone’s childhood.
Also, there are those who smoke because they are not alone in smoking. Smoking is similar to social drinking wherein you get to hang out with friends. But of course, we all know the repercussions of this activity. It leads to higher dependence on cigarettes.
There are many alibis that smokers use in order for them to smoke. In fact, we can blame nicotine for the addiction of smokers. Nicotine is responsible for changing the way the neurons work by affecting specific neurotransmitters.
Nicotine reaches the receptors of the neurons because it mimics acetylcholine. Because it is shaped like this particular neurotransmitter, it is accepted by the body immediately. And once nicotine latches, it mimics the function of acetylcholine. It also stimulates the release of dopamine. Dopamine is the main neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure.
Dopamine is the same neurotransmitter responsible for other types of addictions. It has been considered a pleasure molecule. In fact, there is always an increase in dopamine levels when you take addictive drugs such as cocaine and heroin. This increase in dopamine explains why smoking is hard to get rid of as a habit.
How to implement smoking cessation properly for heavy smokers?
Smoking cessation for heavy smokers can be a challenge. In fact, how do you make a person quit smoking when he or she is heavily reliant on this particular habit for years even? In reality, there is no single rule on how to stop smoking. Some smokers, despite the number of years are successful performing cold turkey methods. However, there are those who will need the aid of professionals. Here are some methods that you can use in order to get rid of your problem.
Smoking cessation methods were made in order to lessen the effects of withdrawal symptoms. This is why prescription medications are known to be used by those who are trying to quit smoking. Heavy smokers could make use of medications such as bupropion and vanrenicline.
Verenicline is known for blocking the nicotine receptors. This makes smoking less satisfying as less dopamine is expected when you smoke. But just like any other pharmaceutical product, you have to consider the fact that they produce strong side effects. These side effects make verenicline not suitable for everyone. It is highly suggested for people to take medications along with support from other people who are about to quit smoking.
- Nicotine replacement therapy
Next, you have different types of nicotine replacement therapies that could help the body adapt to the absence of nicotine. Today, there are different types of nicotine replacement therapies. You can have the nicotine gum and nicotine patches as the most commonly used alternatives. Also, for heavy smokers, you may have to take a higher dose of nicotine replacement products.
Also, there are different functions to each nicotine replacement therapy. For instance, transdermal patches provide a consistent amount of nicotine to your system in a given number of hours. On the other hand, you have the gum which you take as you feel the urge to smoke.
- Government intervention
In order to help heavy smokers, it is important for the government to also be involved. It plays a crucial role how much cigarette do smokers smoke throughout the entire day. Among the intervention practiced by governments is to raise the sin taxes on cigarette and alcohol.
Also, for some places, they implement a smoking ban on public places reducing the areas where smokers can practice the vice.
- Vaporizers and cannabis
Vaporizers and cannabis are also becoming an option for those who try to quit smoking. Vaporizers now use both e-liquids and cannabis. How exactly do both options help heavy smokers? E-liquids contain traces of nicotine available in different concentrations. The reason behind this option is that people could now use vaporizers and e-cigarettes to lessen the withdrawal symptoms.
Cannabis, on the other hand, has been used in order to normalize the neurons. It has been proven that CBD has the ability to normalize the neurons in order to prevent a person’s cravings for nicotine.
Tips that you may also use
It is imperative for a smoker to have a quit date. Also, it is just as important to determine the severity of the problem. Most heavy smokers dismiss the fact that they need intervention for their habit. These two things increase the possibility of your smoking cessation program.
Also, you may need the help of other people when you try to smoke. Heavy smokers need to deal with a number of problems such as withdrawal symptoms. And the fact that smoking may have turned into a habit, your body automatically finds a way to do what it usually does. It is a good idea to find support groups that can help you as you quit smoking. It helps if you can have the help of other people who could offer support during the most difficult times.
Smoking is still a rampant problem that health agencies all over the world have to deal with. Given the possibility of developing cancer and other respiratory ailments, quitting is the most logical step especially for those who already developed a habit out of smoking throughout the years.
Once you become a heavy smoker, quitting isn’t as easy as you think it is. You will need to make sure that you are committed to quitting. It is important for you to also deal with the withdrawal symptoms. Yes, despite the medications and other types of interventions, you can expect this to be a struggle you have to deal with. Using these options, you will be able to increase the chances of getting rid of your smoking habit.