what is proven more effective - cold turkey or NRT?
Welcome to the Ex. You're going to receive varying opinions on this question. There is research supporting both, so I would read up on the data and decide for yourself. Quitters tend to support the method they used to quit.
There is also medication - Chantix or Welbutrin.
Here's some information I compiled on NRT
Nicotine Replacement - Yes or No?
First, welcome to the community!
Second, the best method to quit is the one that works for you (as Barbscloud pointed out, people support the one that worked for them) I quit for a 1.5 years using patches, relapsed and quit cold turkey (quit date of July 4, 2019).
One of the resources I was pointed to was www.whyquit.com. I initially started with patches as they worked in the past but at the above website, I learned I would have to be Superman to quit using patches a second time (success rate way under 1% from what I remember).
Cold Turkey quitters will tell you that that didn't drag out the nicotine withdraws over a period of time, dealing with it all up front and right away. Physical withdraws only last 3-4 days, which coincides with when the nicotine completely leaves your system.
Those who used Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) will tell you they were able to minimize the strength of the withdraws.
Studies for NRT show that it increases your chance to quit (double I believe) in a clinical setting, yet, in practice, more people quit cold turkey than with NRT. The reason for this is, in my opinion, due to the unrealistic amount of one on one counseling utilized for individuals in the clinical setting that are quitting with NRT; there is a decent amount of info that points to flaws in the methodology, but that is not important.
What is important? Support! Have a plan! Understand you are dealing with an addiction, that is deadly! Understand the tobacco companies want you to continue on and we stop at nothing to keep you addicted! Learn and understand nicotine addiction, what it does to the body, what you are going to experience and you will get through it! Forget will power, dedication, don't quit quitting, keep on moving forward, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, etc and you will get quit!
What method are you going to use?
There's so much out there, that's why I suggest your do the research and form your own opinion. For example:
Myth #3: It's better to quit cold turkey than to use NRT.The best quit-smoking method is the one that works for you. “There's no one blanket approach for everyone when it comes to smoking cessation,” says Siegel. Although NRT can improve your chances of quitting, plenty of people have quit by going cold turkey.Sep 5, 2017
Just my two cents worth....I quit a three pack a day addiction 10 years ago cold turkey. I restarted smoking cigars three years later. (I actually mistakenly thought I was cured of the nicotine addiction). This time I used Nicotine gum per the recommended dosing guidelines. I am now at day 64 of my current quit and am chewing 4 - 5 pieces a day with the goal of being gum free in another couple of weeks. I can attest that the gum certainly helped me get through the cravings early on in my quit (and that can make the difference for a lot of people). With that said, however, using NRT's seems to have extended the withdrawal period for me.
Welcome to the community!
Just as each person is unique, so is what works for each person. There are people who swear by Cold Turkey and those who think NRT's are the way to go. You should be able to figure out what will work for you if you first educate yourself on how nicotine addiction works. After you have completed the recommended reading, you should be able to make an informed choice of the quit aid, if any, you will use. If you go that route, I personally recommend the aids that don't let the addict control the dose such as the available prescription drugs or the patch. If used properly, gum, lozenges and inhalers are fine, but they need to be used only as a last resort after you have tried to delay and distract. I have seen folks become addicted to them if they substitute them for every cigarette they used to smoke - just trading one addiction for another. You need to start out with a plan to reduce use of them over time - which the patch does by decreasing the dose contained in them.. For the gum, you can start by cutting each piece in half, then in quarters, then sub regular gum of the same flavor in between, adding more and more regular gum. For the lozenge, you need to start subbing a mint in between to begin, increasing the number of them over time. I do not recommend the e-cigarette for obvious reasons.
The important thing you can do right now is to educate yourself on what nicotine does to your body and mind. To that end, I highly recommend Allen Carr's “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” This easy and entertaining read provided a world of good information about nicotine addiction, most of which I was not aware. I credit it in large part with my success at quitting. You can search for it online or at your local library.
You should also read the posts here and perhaps go to the pages of folks who you think might be helpful. You might visit whyquit.com, quitsmoking.com and livewell.com for the good information contained there. @https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/best-of-ex has lots of blogs written by members of this site with their experiences and guidance. Here is a video to inform you further about nicotine addiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpWMgPHn0Lo&feature=youtu.be.
After you have completed the recommended reading, it will be time to make an informed choice of the quit aid, if any, you will use. If you go that route, I personally recommend the aids that don't let the addict control the dose such as the available prescription drugs or the patch. If used properly, gum, lozenges and inhalers are fine, but they need to be used only as a last resort after you have tried to delay and distract. I have seen folks become addicted to them if they substitute them for every cigarette they used to smoke - just trading one addiction for another. You need to start out with a plan to reduce use of them over time - which the patch does by decreasing the dose contained in them.. For the gum, you can start by cutting each piece in half, then in quarters, then sub regular gum of the same flavor in between, adding more and more regular gum. For the lozenge, you need to start subbing a mint in between to begin, increasing the number of them over time. I do not recommend the e-cigarette for obvious reasons.
It will be informative if you do the tracking and separation exercises recommended here on the site. As you track each cigarette smoked, note its importance, and what you might do instead. Put each one off just a little to prove that you don't NEED a cigarette just because you think you do.
The idea is to change up your routines so the smoking associations are reduced. Drink your coffee with your OTHER hand in a place different from when you smoked. Maybe switch to tea for a bit. If you always had that first smoke with your coffee, try putting your tennies on right out of bed, going for a quick walk, then taking your shower and THEN your coffee! Rearrange the furniture in the areas you used to smoke so the view is different. Buy your gas at a different station. Take a different route to work. Take a quick walk at break time where the smokers AREN'T. You need to distract yourself through any craves. You can take a bite out of a lemon (yup - rind and all), put your head in the freezer and take a deep breath of cold air, do a few jumping jacks, go for a brisk walk or march in place, play a computer game. Keep a cold bottle of water with you from which to sip. Don't let that smoking thought rattle around in your brain unchallenged. Sometimes you need to quit a minute or an hour at a time. You will need to be disciplined in the early days to distract yourself when a crave hits. Get busy! Here is a link to a list of things to do instead of smoke if you need some fresh ideas: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Youngatheart.7.4.12-blog/2013/02/25/100-things-to-do-instead-of-smoke
The conversation in your head in response to the "I want a cigarette" thought needs to be, "Well, since I have decided not to do that anymore, what shall I do instead for the three minutes this crave will last?" Then DO it. You will need to put some effort into this in the early days, but it gets easier and easier to do.
Stay close to us here and ask questions when you have them and for support when you need it. We will be with you every step of the way!
I believe that the most successful treatment is a combo approach such as--planning, smart turkey and support altogether---planning, nrt or medication and support. Support is vital to many because it helps us stay committed, refocus more positively if our thinking starts to go negative.
Getting over addiction cold turkey and doing it all alone may be the least successful approach.
Welcome to Ex’s....I did cold turkey because I get sick on NRT’s...however, I have seen them work for many here at Ex’s...you need to do the research and do what works best for you...Keep close to the support site for help...Happy Wednesday ~ Colleen 688 DOF
I will certainly agree that each individual is different & should use whatever NRT they feel will best suit their needs. I will also add that NRTs are not magic bullets & one shouldn't assume that all you have to do is use it. There is still a lot of work to do. You still have to stick to your plan. You still have to expect triggers at odd times & be ready to say NO. You can't let your emotions be used as an excuse to slip. You can't let someone's actions give you an excuse to slip. You still have to be on your toes at all times to be successful.
Everything I read typically states cold turkey gets the highest % of smokers to quit long term (which I think is a year for the data). I had a successful quit 3.5 years ago cold turkey and then like an idiot I started again about a year ago. I have tried cold turkey 15 times since then and have not been able to get past 2-3 weeks. Currently I have been smoke free for 1 week today and have been using the patch. Still on step 1 so not too far in, but it has been incredibly easy for me to deal with not smoking compared to cold turkey. This is my first time trying the patch and I just find it easier than the gum since you just put it on and leave it rather than having to keep putting gum in your mouth multiple times a day. I do have some gum as backup if I am not able to wear the patch for any reason like pool/spa etc. I know I am still getting dosed up with nicotine, but I will follow the steps and taper off the nicotine.
That's my experience so far, and I am glad I gave it a go as I am a serial quitter and this will be my last quit. Good luck to you whatever way you choose.
Retrieving data ...