Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Oct 29, 2010

Of course you can!

There are more tools available now to help people stop smoking than ever before.  There are seven different first line medications, five are nicotine replacement medications (gum, lozenge, patch, inhaler and nasal spray), two are non-nicotine (varenicline a.k.a. Chantix) and bupropion a.k.a. Zyban).  There is support and counseling available through the telephone quitline or your local health care provider, and on-line tools like www.becomeanex.org. 

People, who never thought they could quit, are now able to do it.  The key to success is finding the plan that will work for you.  Too many people think that they have to do it on their own.  There are proven ways to increase your chances of stopping smoking.  A combination of medication plus counseling works best. 


If you’ve tried medication before, keep trying until you find what will work for you.  Many people are not aware that they can use two or more of the nicotine replacement medications at a time.  However, a number of studies have shown that using a nicotine patch and a short-acting nicotine replacement: nicotine gum, nicotine lozenge, nicotine nasal spray, or the nicotine inhaler actually works better than just a single form of nicotine replacement.  Talk with your health care provider about the different medication options.  In addition to nicotine replacement, bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix) are two other medications that can help. 

Counseling might be the key to your success.  Many people find help to stop smoking from a Tobacco Treatment Specialist through a local hospital or health center.  Telephone quitlines work, and are available in every state in the nation by calling 1800 QUIT NOW.  On line help like www.becomeanex.org might do it for you. 

Keep trying until you find the right combination that works for you.  There are many ways to get support for stopping smoking.  You can do it and you don’t have to do it on your own.

Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated more than 50,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org