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how to stop smoking

64 doctor answers85 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
A combination: Deciding to stop smoking is the first step -- so congratulations on contemplating that. You can use a nicotine patch, for starters -- your family physician can examine you and get you started with that. Then, bring in a good therapist or two. Hypnosis helps some people along -- cognitive behavioral therapy is useful for others. So, combining approaches, tailored to you, is the idea.
Dr. Leonard Lado
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Topamax (topiramate) : Anthenelli et al 2008 showed topiramate produced effects on smoking cessation. Male smokers had markedly greater quit rates than female smokers and men were roughly four times more likely to quit smoking when treated with topiramate as compared to placebo. Topiramate triple effects aiding smoking abstinence, attenuating nicotine withdrawal and preventing post-cessation weight gain. Its promising.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Very interesting -- thanks for sharing this! Any ideas as to why the women had less success?
Sep 9, 2012
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Stop smoking: Agree with dr. Pappas. Also, topamax (topiramate) has shown promising results in male smokers. Discuss with your family doctor.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Cold turkey.: As far as quitting without any nicotine replacement, the cold turkey method is great. But plan it ahead of time. Pick a quit date in advance, maybe a meaningful date like a birthday or holiday, and gather people who are aware of your attempt that you can call upon for moral support if you start to falter. Good luck!! Big fan of cold turkey (not the food).
Dr. Albert Pizzo
Family Medicine 60 years experience
Stop smoking: This is not easy to do on your own. Find a program or better yet discuss this with your doctor who can help you with a program to quit smoking. Be determined and have courage. Tell all your friends and family so they can help. Life a healthy lifestyle. Never give up on yourself.
Dr. Alan Wartenberg
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Use patches, program: Some individuals succeed with cold-turkey stopping, and a few can taper themselves off tobacco, but such efforts lead to fewer than 5% succeeding. Use of nicotine patches increases quit rate to 15% or so, and adding nicotine lozenges for break-thru craving can increase that a bit. A formal smoking cessation program increases results 10%. Best results are with zyban (bupropion) and chantix, plus a program.
Dr. Natalie Hodge
Pediatrics 26 years experience
Hard to Quit!: Smoking is a very difficult habit to quit! Start with weaning your cigarettes down, when you have a craving substitute a 10 minute walk for the smoke. Set a quit date in the future, and try using social media to announce to your friends your quit date. If you have a significant component of anxiety ( many smokers do) then an antidepressant like wellbutrin (bupropion) may help. Good luck!
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Cold turkey.: As far as quitting without any nicotine replacement, the cold turkey method is great. But plan it ahead of time. Pick a quit date in advance, maybe a meaningful date like a birthday or holiday, and gather people who are aware of your attempt that you can call upon for moral support if you start to falter. Good luck!!
Dr. Michio Abe
Internal Medicine 26 years experience
Congratulations!: Sounds to me like you want to stop smoking. I congratulate you for that. It's probably one of the best things you can do for your health as cigarette smoking is the number one preventable cause of morbidity and mortality, which is not only hurting yourself but also hurting your family, friends and society. The habit may not be easy to break. Nicotin patches and gums, Chantix and zyban (bupropion) can help.
Dr. Jeffrey Roth
Addiction Medicine 43 years experience
Mutual support helps: You might consider attending a meeting of nicotine anonymous.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Cold turkey.: As far as quitting without any nicotine replacement, the cold turkey method is great. But plan it ahead of time. Pick a quit date in advance, maybe a meaningful date like a birthday or holiday, and gather people who are aware of your attempt that you can call upon for moral support if you start to falter. Good luck!! Big fan of cold turkey (not the food).
Dr. Shah Nawaz
Psychiatry 35 years experience
Many ways : First try to will power cut down slowly hypnosis other option last option medications first try bupropion if no help than Chantix read side effect also attend groups.
Dr. Christian Clark
Gastroenterology 18 years experience
Smoking cessation: Smoking cessation is very difficult to conquer. This is because of the brain neurochemistry which is affected as well as behavioral barriers to combat. Multiple different approaches have been shown to be effective, but the first step is picking a quit date. I would suggest seeing your healthcare professional to compose a plan that is right for you!
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Smoking Cessation : Consider a smoking cessation clinic/ program. They offer medication options, education about stopping smoking and you will have automatic support. Auricular acupuncture is also excellent for smoking cessation.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Cold turkey.: As far as quitting without any nicotine replacement, the cold turkey method is great. But plan it ahead of time. Pick a quit date in advance, maybe a meaningful date like a birthday or holiday, and gather people who are aware of your attempt that you can call upon for moral support if you start to falter. Good luck!!
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Stop smoking: Smoke-cessation programs are available. Medications tried include zyban, chantix, nicoderm patches, etc. Also, topamax (topiramate) has shown promising results in male smokers. Discuss with your family doctor.
Dr. Georgia Latham
Family Medicine 35 years experience
Smoking cessation: is a difficult undertaking. Nicotine is an extremely addictive drug, and there is also habit and social factors involved. In general, it is better to decrease cigarette smoking gradually than to try to quit cold turkey. Different techniques work for different people. Pharmacotherapy can be helpful; Chantix works great but has significant side effects in some people. Google smoking cessation.
Dr. Alan Wartenberg
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Use patches, program: Some individuals succeed with cold-turkey stopping, and a few can taper themselves off tobacco, but such efforts lead to fewer than 5% succeeding. Use of nicotine patches increases quit rate to 15% or so, and adding nicotine lozenges for break-thru craving can increase that a bit. A formal smoking cessation program increases results 10-20%. Best results are with Chantix, plus a program.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Cold turkey.: As far as quitting without any nicotine replacement, the cold turkey method is great. But plan it ahead of time. Pick a quit date in advance, maybe a meaningful date like a birthday or holiday, and gather people who are aware of your attempt that you can call upon for moral support if you start to falter. Good luck!! Big fan of cold turkey (not the food).
Dr. Linda Callaghan
Addiction Medicine 53 years experience
Determination: You have to be psychologically prepared to stop smoking. Some people swear that they stopped cold-turkey and never got back. Others were inspired by fear such as a diagnosis of COPD, discovery of lung cancer in a smoker family member or acquaintance or themselves. Some use Nicotine Patch, Chantix,Nicorette (nicotine gum) gum, gradual reduction and lifestyle change, eliminating circumstances that trigger smoking.
Dr. Susan Arnoult
Family Medicine 25 years experience
GO FOR IT!!!: Just asking that question and seeking help is the first step! Start with the CDC materials: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/cessation/index.htm Talk to your Family Doctor about using Chantix, nicotine inhalers or patches. Get some support from friends and family and make a plan! Best thing you could do for your health!
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Stop smoking: Develop a plan before you stop smoking. Chose a date that you plan to stop. Let your friends & family know so that they can support you. Get rid of cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays etc. Stay away from people who are smoking so that it won't trigger the urge to smoke. Consider using a smoking cessation App, a quitline, smokefree TXT or joining a support group. Medications can also be used.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Provided original answer
Auricular acupuncture & hypnosis can be effective. Check Smokefree.Gov.
Oct 18, 2015
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Stop or Gradual Stop: A visit to one's doctor can help, especially if the doctor knows of successful smoking cessation methods, medications, and programs, all of which may help a tobacco user wanting to go cold turkey (stop all use at once). For users with good planning skills and willpower, they can cut out a portion of their use (such as 1/3 or 1/2) every couple of weeks or so, and eventually get to zero use.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Stop or Gradual Stop: A visit to one's doctor can help, especially if the doctor knows of successful smoking cessation methods, medications, and programs, all of which may help a tobacco user wanting to go cold turkey (stop all use at once). For users with good planning skills and willpower, they can cut out a portion of their use (such as 1/3 or 1/2) every couple of weeks or so, and eventually get to zero use.
Dr. Ira Friedlander
Cardiac Electrophysiology 42 years experience
Stopping smoking is: very hard because it is an addiction. There are many supportive therapies, drugs, counseling and other techniques but the bottom line is YOU have to decide that you are going to quit. It helps to have your friends and family around you to be nonsmokers too. Good luck.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Stop or Gradual Stop: A visit to one's doctor can help, especially if the doctor knows of successful smoking cessation methods, medications, and programs, all of which may help a tobacco user wanting to go cold turkey (stop all use at once). For users with good planning skills and willpower, they can cut out a portion of their use (such as 1/3 or 1/2) every couple of weeks or so, and eventually get to zero use.
Dr. Kenneth Smith
Internal Medicine 32 years experience
Smoking: I sat down one day with a legal pad and created a list off the top of my head and presented a list in less than an hour of 142 serious diseases related to smoking most of which could cause life ending events. This depends entirely how long you want to stick around and how much you love both yourself your life and how much you love your family and friends.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
You tell me.: Live longer. Save the cost of cigarettes. Avoid bad breath & stench of off-gassing. Decrease risk of developing cancer, emphysema, hypertension, cardiovascular disease & ulcers, etc. Feel better.
Dr. Frank Mayo
Pulmonary Critical Care 48 years experience
Slowly reduce tobacc: Slowly reduce daily consumption with nicotine. Consider nicotine replacement with patches or gum. An alternative is chantix. You must figure out what to do when the urge to smoke arises as this desire usually persists but the successful pt does something to take away the desire to smoke.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Cessation options: Develop a plan before you stop smoking. Chose a date that you plan to stop. Let your friends & family know so that they can support you. Get rid of cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays etc. Stay away from people who are smoking so that it won't trigger the urge to smoke. Consider using a smoking cessation App, a quitline, smokefree TXT or joining a support group. Medications can also be used.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Provided original answer
Auricular acupuncture & hypnosis can be effective. Check Smokefree.Gov.
Oct 18, 2015
Dr. Randy Baker
Holistic Medicine 40 years experience
Determination and...: The most important thing is a strong desire to quit. There are many strategies to help, from nicotine patches/gum & various pharmaceutical meds to acupuncture & hypnosis. Exercise & relaxation helps. For more details on ways to quit see http://altmedicine.About.Com/od/therapiesfromrtoz/a/quit_smoking.Htm & www.Shareguide.Com/smoking.Html also see my comments. Good luck!
Dr. Randy Baker
Dr. Randy Baker commented
Holistic Medicine 40 years experience
Provided original answer
Almost all cigarettes have numerous chemical additives like sugar and formaldehyde that are toxic and increase their addictiveness. I advise getting pure tobacco (ideally organic) and rolling your own. You can add herbs like sage & mullein (see http://herbgardens.about.com/od/herbrecipes/tp/What-Herbs-Can-Be-Used-For-Smoking-Mixtures.htm ) and make a mix of 50 % tobacco and 50% herbs. Over time you can reduce the percentage of tobacco...
Mar 24, 2013
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Cold turkey.: As far as quitting without any nicotine replacement, the cold turkey method is great, and has proven to be the most successful method overall. But plan it ahead of time. Pick a quit date in advance, maybe a meaningful date like a birthday or holiday, and gather people who are aware of your attempt that you can call upon for moral support if you start to falter. Good luck!!
Dr. Robert Killian
General Practice 28 years experience
Stopping smoking: The most effective ways to quit smoking besides just quitting are the following:" do it with a group or friends. The social accountability helps one survive the craving. Second then is nicotine replacement options such as the gum and patches. There is also acupuncture and other behavior modification techniques. You can find more info at the american cancer society and the american lung assoc.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Cold turkey.: As far as quitting without any nicotine replacement, the cold turkey method is great, and has proven to be the most successful method overall. But plan it ahead of time. Pick a quit date in advance, maybe a meaningful date like a birthday or holiday, and gather people who are aware of your attempt that you can call upon for moral support if you start to falter. Good luck!!
Dr. Alan Wartenberg
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
I have to disagree with my colleague in at least one sense. Cold-turkey is the way most people who quit smoking WITHOUT seeing a doctor do it, but most people who ASK doctors or go to see them have already tried and failed at that. Agree with above recommendations, but the addition of nicotine replacement treatments (patches, gum, lozenges) and certain medications add to success. Good luck!
Sep 26, 2016
Dr. Allan Goldstein
Internal Medicine 56 years experience
Several ways.: Cold turkey is most successful. Also nicotine patches, gum or lozenges. Also chantix.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Cold turkey.: As far as quitting without any nicotine replacement, the cold turkey method is great, and has proven to be the most successful method overall. But plan it ahead of time. Pick a quit date in advance, maybe a meaningful date like a birthday or holiday, and gather people who are aware of your attempt that you can call upon for moral support if you start to falter. Good luck!!
Dr. Jeffrey Roth
Addiction Medicine 43 years experience
Mutual support helps: You might consider attending a meeting of nicotine anonymous.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Smoking Cessation: If you desire to stop smoking, consider a smoking cessation program that offers education, support & appropriate medications. Ear (auricular acupuncture), nicotine anonymous meetings & hypnosis can be very helpful for smoking cessation.
Dr. Adam Front
Clinical Psychology 27 years experience
Quitting smoking: Congrats 4 wanting to quit, that's the1st step. List pros & cons of quitting & pros & cons of smoking. Nicotine anonymous & smoking cessation programs offer support & education. Patch, gum & e-cigs keep you addicted to nicotine (i don't recommend). Cravings for nic last 3-5 mins, and if you can breathe, take a walk, chew carrots or otherwise distract yrself it will pass & gets easier over time.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Cold turkey.: As far as quitting without any nicotine replacement, the cold turkey method is great. But plan it ahead of time. Pick a quit date in advance, maybe a meaningful date like a birthday or holiday, and gather people who are aware of your attempt that you can call upon for moral support if you start to falter. Good luck!!
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Options: Develop a plan before you stop smoking. Chose a date that you plan to stop. Let your friends & family know so that they can support you. Get rid of cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays etc. Stay away from people who are smoking so that it won't trigger the urge to smoke. Consider using a smoking cessation App, a quitline, smokefree TXT or joining a support group. Medications can also be used.
Dr. Shariq Refai
Psychiatry 13 years experience
Two prong: Addiction to smoking is two pronged, one addiction is to the nicotine while the other is behavioral or changes in habits. Address the habit and doing things differently, and then addres the nicotine craving, doing it under supervision of your physician is best as there are meds which help. Cutting down one cigarette at a time until stopped can also be helpful.
Dr. Scott Rudkin
Emergency Medicine 23 years experience
Many ways: There are many ways to accomplish your goal. Most rely on slowly reducing the nicotine levels (eg. Nicotine gums/patches). You can also try hypotherapy.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Cold turkey.: As far as quitting without any nicotine replacement, the cold turkey method is great, and has proven to be the most successful method overall. But plan it ahead of time. Pick a quit date in advance, maybe a meaningful date like a birthday or holiday, and gather people who are aware of your attempt that you can call upon for moral support if you start to falter. Good luck!!
Dr. Ankush Bansal
Internal Medicine 17 years experience
Meds ; counseling: There are different medications available - pills, gum, patch - to reduce nicotine craving. However, to be successful, you must receive counseling/therapy from a qualified therapist or doctor who can help you through quitting by setting a quit date, removing temptations (including people), and advising you when you have cravings.
Dr. Milton Mintz
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
See your pcp: He'll have programs available- also american lung society, or cancer society.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Cold turkey.: As far as quitting without any nicotine replacement, the cold turkey method is great, and has proven to be the most successful method overall. But plan it ahead of time. Pick a quit date in advance, maybe a meaningful date like a birthday or holiday, and gather people who are aware of your attempt that you can call upon for moral support if you start to falter. Good luck!!
Dr. Bernard Seif
Clinical Psychology 40 years experience
Everyone is: different but setting target date to stop and then stopping completely on that day can be effective. Learning some self-hypnosis can support this plan of action. Chewing gum or eating mints is useful, especially at high risk times like coffee breaks. Peace and good health.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
How to stop: Develop a plan before you stop smoking. Chose a date that you plan to stop. Let your friends & family know so that they can support you. Get rid of cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays etc. Stay away from people who are smoking so that it won't trigger the urge to smoke. Consider using a smoking cessation App, a quitline, smokefree TXT or joining a support group. Medications can also be used.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Provided original answer
Auricular acupuncture & hypnosis can be effective. Check Smokefree.Gov.
Oct 18, 2015
Dr. Elton Behner
Dentistry 37 years experience
Commitment!: Try hypnosis, chemical intervention i.e Chantix, Nicorette (nicotine gum) Gum, Nicotine Patches, addiction counselling, behavioral change therapy, etc. The main determinate of success is how badly do you want to quit or change. Unless you are committed 100% it won't work... just like dieting!
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Stop smoking: Develop a plan before you stop smoking. Chose a date that you plan to stop. Let your friends & family know so that they can support you. Get rid of cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays etc. Stay away from people who are smoking so that it won't trigger the urge to smoke. Consider using a smoking cessation App, a quitline, smokefree TXT or joining a support group. Medications can also be used.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Stop smoking: Smoke-cessation programs are available. Medications tried include zyban, chantix, nicoderm patches, etc. Also, topamax (topiramate) has shown promising results in male smokers. Discuss with your family doctor.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Stop smoking: Develop a plan before you stop smoking. Chose a date that you plan to stop. Let your friends & family know so that they can support you. Get rid of cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays etc. Stay away from people who are smoking so that it won't trigger the urge to smoke. Consider using a smoking cessation App, a quitline, smokefree TXT or joining a support group. Medications can also be used.
Dr. Lynne Weixel
Clinical Psychology 36 years experience
Lots of advice!: Your Dr, your pharmacist and many websites will be more than happy to give you advice and help. Some nicotine alternative delivery devices are available if needed. A behavioal psychotherapist can help too. Tip: the breath pattern (inhale-hold-full blowing exhale) is good for you. Keep doing that but w/out the tobacco. It's part of why quitting feels bad. This helps!
Dr. Donald Gieck
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
Smoking cessation: Congratulations! This can be a challenging habit to break and a strong quit plan is recommended, as is working with a medical provider or mental health expert. They can help determine the best resources, including nicotine replacement and other medications, as well as behavioral strategies for managing cravings. Visit http://m.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/index
Dr. Creighton Wright
General Surgery 56 years experience
The first step is understanding the addiction NS wanting to quit! DO IT!!!!
Jun 7, 2015
Dr. Andrea Brand
Specializes in Family Medicine
Stopping smoking: Your doctor and/ or a support group can help you quit smoking. Picking a quit day, eliminating smoking materials from the home, enlisting the support of friends and family, and using nicotine replacement and medications indicated for smoking cessation are useful in your quit program.
Dr. Justin Greiwe
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Lots of Options: The first step is an actual desire to quit, without that you will not succeed. There are numerous help lines and support groups for smoking cessation. Other treatments include: Option #1: combined nicotine replacement (a patch plus a short-acting form such as the gum or lozenge). Option #2: medical therapy including either Chantix (varenicline) or Wellbutrin (bupropion).
Dr. Leonard Goodstein
Specializes in Clinical Psychology
Get help.: Sign up for one of your smoking cessation clinics. You can find them on the internet or from your local public health agency. These programs do work!
Dr. Linda Callaghan
Addiction Medicine 53 years experience
Many ways.: The most important is a desire to stop smoking. There are aids used such as Chantix, Nicotine patches and Nicorette (nicotine gum) gum. Some advocate hypnosis, avoiding triggers like coffee, counseling and physical exercises. Some people use electronic cigarettes . Some hospitals offer smoke cessation programs.
Dr. Annita Jones
Clinical Psychology 26 years experience
Helps to quit with a friend or spouse. Support helps.
Jul 8, 2015
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Cold turkey.: As far as quitting without any nicotine replacement, the cold turkey method is great, and has proven to be the most successful method overall. But plan it ahead of time. Pick a quit date in advance, maybe a meaningful date like a birthday or holiday, and gather people who are aware of your attempt that you can call upon for moral support if you start to falter. Good luck!!
Dr. Alan Wartenberg
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Many ways: Enroll in a formal smoking cessation program for emotional, physical group support. Consider nicotine replacement therapy (patches best, add gum/lozenge for acute craving) for about 3 months. Several prescription meds - Zyban (bupropion) and Chantix (varenicline) together with programs achieve a 40% quit rate. Wanting to is the chief necessary ingredient. Congrats on trying, and good luck!!
Dr. Richard Zimon
Internal Medicine 59 years experience
My own: preference is a consultation with your PCP (Primary Care Provider) for 1. A medication which can reduce your Craving 2. A referral to a Stop Smoking Program available through many local Public Health Departments Also ask AT WORK for a referral ..many employers have WELLNESS PROGRAMS with Stop Smoking Groups GOOD LUCK/HOPE THIS HELPS! Dr Z
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Options: Develop a plan before you stop smoking. Chose a date that you plan to stop. Let your friends & family know so that they can support you. Get rid of cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays etc. Stay away from people who are smoking so that it won't trigger the urge to smoke. Consider using a smoking cessation App, a quitline, smokefree TXT or joining a support group. Medications can also be used.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Provided original answer
Auricular acupuncture & hypnosis can be effective. Check Smokefree.Gov.
Oct 18, 2015
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
See Below: Not easy. Consult this site for guidance: http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/index For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form. Practice safe sex.

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