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Smoking Cessation: Choose the Right Method for You


Smoking Cessation: Choose the Right Method for You

A whopping 31% of Gaston County residents smoke, and lung cancer is the second most deadly disease in our county. After all, there are more than 4,000 different chemicals found in tobacco products and smoke, and they can affect our heart and blood vessels, lungs, digestive system, brain and skin. The good news is that smoking is one of the most preventable causes of death, and there are abundant resources and methods in place for smokers ready to kick the habit and breathe freely. Decide what’s right for you with the help of this article and CaroMont Health.

1. Try going cold turkey. About 90% of people who try to quit smoking do it without outside support: no aids, therapy or medicine. Although most people try to quit this way, it's not always the most effective and successful method. Preparing yourself with healthy habits can help. Know your triggers and avoid them early on; find new hobbies to do with friends who don’t smoke; and reward yourself in other ways as you accomplish another day without a cigarette.

2. Build a quit plan. Pick a quit date that gives you time to prepare without losing your motivation to quit. Tell friends and family that you are quitting. Remove cigarettes and ashtrays from your home, work, and car. Identify smoking triggers, and decide how you are going to deal with them.

3. Make use of behavioral therapy. You'll work with a trained and knowledgeable counselor to find ways not to smoke. Together, you'll identify your triggers (such as emotions or situations that make you want to smoke) and make a plan to get through cravings. Having a judgment-free champion in quitting can help you feel less demoralized if you relapse, and more willing to try again after.

4. Explore nicotine replacement therapy. Need a little extra muscle in kicking the habit? Ease into it with nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, sprays and lozenges. These are nicotine replacement therapies, and they work by giving you nicotine without the use of tobacco (the real chemical culprit). You may be more likely to quit smoking if you use nicotine replacement therapy, but you must be over 18 or you’ll need to get your doctor's permission. This plan works best when you also make use of behavioral therapy and support from friends and family.

5. Ask your doctor about smoking cessation medicine.Buproprion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix) are specially formulated to help people quit smoking. Your primary care doctor can prescribe you these medications, and talk to you about potential side effects, the levels of effectiveness and can identify any conflicts with existing prescriptions.

6. Have a combination treatment tailored to you. Using a combination of treatment methods may raise your chances of quitting. For example, using both a nicotine patch and gum may be better than a patch alone; other proven combos include behavioral therapy and nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medication with a nicotine patch, and nicotine patch with nicotine spray. The FDA has not yet approved using two types of nicotine replacement therapy at the same time, so be sure to talk with your doctor first to see if this is the right approach for you.

There are countless benefits to quitting tobacco use; when you’re ready to reap the rewards of better health, CaroMont Health can help. We offer the QuitSmart program at Discover You!, a three-session class that equips participants with a self-help stop smoking kit and provides personalized coaching. It also uses hypnosis and relaxation techniques, recommended medications and a simulated fake cigarette to ease you off nicotine. It’s a research-based program proven to help users quit, and stay tobacco free—for life.

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