Tobacco smoking is one of the leading causes of death in America today. Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are harmful, and about 70 can cause cancer (cdc.gov, 2017). It’s no wonder that people who commit to smoking cessation greatly reduce their risk of disease and early death. While those who quit early in life see the largest health improvement, there are benefits at any age. Pursuing smoking cessation at EZCare Clinic in San Francisco is a great way to get started on your path to a healthier life.
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Within two weeks of smoking cessation, your body starts to repair the damage of tobacco use. You can expect your sense of taste and smell to return and it becomes much easier to breathe. You may find your energy levels rise as your circulation returns to normal and your blood pressure decreases.
Smoking cessation can lower the chance of many long-term health risks. Within two years of quitting, you will have a decreased risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and vascular disease. You’ll also reduce respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. For women, you reduce the risk of infertility and reduce the risk of having a low birth weight baby. Pursuing smoking cessation at EZ Care Clinic may be the easiest way to greatly improve your health over your lifetime.
While the health benefits of smoking cessation are obvious, it’s not so easy to quit. Those who smoke regularly may have acquired a nicotine addiction. Research suggests that nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Those who quit without any assistance may find themselves with a whole host of withdrawal symptoms.
Quitting ‘cold-turkey can leave you feeling irritable, angry, or anxious. The constant craving your body will have for nicotine can make thinking more difficult. As your sense of taste returns so does a normal appetite. Many people gain weight during smoking cessation. Don’t go it alone. By talking to a doctor about smoking cessation at EZCare Clinic, you can develop a plan to keep you off tobacco.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
One way you can greatly increase your chances of smoking cessation is by the use of nicotine replacement therapy. Those who participate in nicotine replacement therapy are twice as likely to succeed at smoking cessation than those who attempt to quit ‘cold-turkey. Nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT, is the use of patches, gum, or inhalers to supply a low dose of nicotine in order to curb cravings. By using an NRT replacement instead of tobacco, you avoid the thousands of deadly chemicals that are associated with traditional smoking.
That is not to say that NRT will remove all the withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine. You may still have withdrawal symptoms or cravings while using NRT (smokefree.gov, 2015). Depending on how much you smoked per day before attempting smoking cessation, you may find yourself needing more doses of nicotine in order to curve cravings. The higher the dose the longer it will take for your body to wean itself off of the addiction.
Nicotine patches can be bought without a prescription and can be found over the counter at most pharmacies. All nicotine patches are used in similar ways. A patient will wear a single patch a day in order to lessen the effects of nicotine withdrawal. A will need to be placed on a hairless part of the body to ensure that full contact is made with the skin. Those who smoke less than ten cigarettes a day should start with a lower dose patch to ensure that the amount of nicotine in the body is being reduced. Nicotine patches are a great first step for smoking cessation.
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Nicotine Gum or Lozenges
Nicotine gum or lozenges can also be bought without a prescription. Some patients prefer nicotine gum or lozenges because they can control the nicotine dose. Nicotine gum and lozenges are typically taken when you feel the onset of craving and take 15 minutes to take full effect. You should always read the instructions given with each gum or lozenge to ensure that you do not overdose on nicotine inadvertently. Gums and lozenges are perfect for smoking cessation in California.
Nicotine Inhalers or Nicotine Nasal Spray
Nicotine inhalers and nasal sprays require a prescription in the United States. Nicotine inhalers are quick-acting and require less time than gum or patches to curb cravings. Nicotine nasal spray can give a quick dose of nicotine to satisfy a craving you are unable to ignore. However, the spray can irritate the nose, eyes, and throat. These side effects often go away in a few days. Inhalers and nasal sprays are great tools to use for smoking cessation.
All nicotine products may cause side effects. Users might feel nausea or other digestive problems, and headaches are common (medlineplus.gov, 2017). Symptoms are more likely when you use very high doses.
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In addition, it’s important to follow NRT product directions carefully. Some NRT products work better if they are not used at the same time as high-acid drinks, such as sodas and fruit juices. It is safe to continue using NRT even if you slip and smoke one or two cigarettes, but continued use of tobacco while on NRT can cause nicotine to build up to toxic levels. A consistent cycle of NRT may help you stop smoking. Talking to a doctor about smoking cessation at EZCare Clinic can help you navigate nicotine replacement therapy and increase your chances of successfully quitting.