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FDA Approved Medications to Help You Quit Smoking

We’ve all seen those TV ads for the nicotine patch, and you may have heard of other options like nicotine gum. But do they really work? And are they safe?

Many would-be quitters get nervous about the idea of replacing one addictive substance cigarettes with another. They view nicotine gum and patches sceptically, preferring to quit “cold turkey,” with no medical help whatsoever.

Unfortunately, many of the people who quit cold turkey wind up smoking again within a few weeks or months. Why? Well, as you know, nicotine addiction isn’t just a mental problem or a state of mind. It’s an actual physical disease that affects your body’s chemical makeup. Quitting isn’t necessarily just a matter of mind over matter—it’s also a process of making your body less physically dependent on its drug of choice and returning yourself to a pure, natural state.

There’s no shame in using nicotine replacement products to help you do this. Items like the patch don’t just become replacements for cigarettes. Rather, they are temporarily support devices that help wean you away from cigarettes gradually, and thus much more effectively than stopping all at once.

Instead of shocking your body by depriving it entirely of nicotine all of a sudden (which can result in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms), these nicotine replacement products help “step you down.” They deliver increasingly smaller doses of nicotine, enabling your body to readjust over time. As a result, you become addiction-free without a lot of the pain, discomfort and stress often associated with the “cold turkey” route.

Now this is not to say that you shouldn’t stop all at once. If you want to do it that way, and you think you can do it effectively, then by all means go ahead! But if you think you might need a bit of a chemical support system to help you along the way, then consider speaking to your doctor about the following options, all approved by the F.D.A. to help people like you and me stop smoking for good:

· Nicotine patch (prescription or OTC) · Nicotine gum (OTC) · Nicotine inhaler (prescription) · Nicotine nasal spray (prescription)

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