It is common knowledge that smoking increases your risk of not only lung cancer and other lung ailments such as emphysema, but also heart disease and increases your risk of suffering a stroke so it is important to your future health to stop.
Quitting smoking can be very difficult since nicotine is a highly addictive stimulant that produces a pleasant feeling for the user that releases adrenaline, which is what causes the addiction but experts agree there are methods that can be effective and practical.
One method is nicotine replacement therapy or NRT that comes in the forms of a patch, chewing gum, nasal spray, inhaler or lozenges. There are different strengths available and a healthcare professional can help you decide which strength is best for you. NRTs work by providing a smoker nicotine, but without all the other harmful chemicals that smokers inhale. While using any of the products above you should contact a healthcare professional if you experience nausea, dizziness, weakness or a fast or irregular heartbeat.
Another method is prescription medications that act on either chemical in your brain (bupropion) to reduce the cravings or acts on receptors in your brain (varenicline) and lessens the pleasure the brain experiences while smoking. There can be side effects of using these drugs though, including depression, aggression, and suicidal thoughts.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective for some smokers to help them stop. The objective of CBT is to change harmful behaviors or thoughts that might cause someone to use an addictive substance such as nicotine. You can receive behavioral support from self-help materials to group therapy to one on one counseling that is the most effective. The National Cancer Institute provides assistance to anyone seeking help to stop smoking. Their helpline is 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848) as well as local and state quitlines at 1- 800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). There are also support groups on social media.
Another technique is to quit cold turkey without any assistance from NRT or prescription drugs, although behavioral help can assist in ensuring success with this method.
Some other methods that have been effective for some people are hypnosis, acupuncture, meditation, and yoga as well as supplements and herbs.
E-cigarettes are not intended as a smoking cessation product and while it has been a successful method for some smokers studies have found health risks in the use of e-cigarettes such as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate.