Step 4: Taking Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT):
The craving for nicotine intake can be successfully managed by substituting with nicotine patches, nicotine gum, etc. Consulting a doctor and drawing up a NRT regimen will assist the process of quitting. In the most extreme of cases, where NRT is not efficacious, trying a trial run on Bupropion (a popular antidepressant medication) can help. It is important to keep in mind that this strategy should be adopted only under the guidance of a registered psychiatrist as it carries significant risk of side effect and overdose. For some patients, a more aggressive approach can be adopted, wherein supplementary medication can be prescribed to go with the primary option. For others, employing two forms of nicotine replacement strategies simultaneously can prove to be effective. It is important to remember that every patient is unique physiologically and hence customized plans should be drawn up to help them quit smoking.
Step 5: Physical Workouts and Cardio Exercises:
As one plans to quit smoking, it is advisable to join a health club or a gym and start exercising. One of the reasons why people reach for a cigarette is stress at work and home. Regular exercise can reduce this stress significantly, thereby decreasing the dependency on cigarettes. The physical workout should be done in moderation. If the patient completely exhausts himself/herself through exercise, then there won’t be sufficient mental reserves to battle through the quitting process.
Step 6: Joining a Support Group:
As is often the case, the process of quitting smoking becomes so much easier if it is done as a group. The successful functioning of support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous is a testimony to this method. Ideally, the support group for smokers would be guided by a qualified psychotherapist who can cater to particular problems of individual addicts.
Step 7: Planning for contingencies:
It is important to make provisions for possible slip-ups. It is a well documented fact that people who attempt to quit smoking often end up giving up midway through their rehab program. This natural tendency to relapse into the habit is common with all kinds of addictions. Hence one should make allowances for such slip-ups and start over the process again. This requires a lot of patience and persistence on the part of the individual.