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Quitting Smoking: Planning To Succeed With Zyban!

Step One: The Big Decision

One of the most frustrating things about deciding to quit smoking can be people’s reactions: “Well, it’s about time!” or “It was a filthy habit, why didn’t you quit sooner?” But as anyone who has been using nicotine knows, it’s one of the hardest decisions, and one of the most difficult tasks, many people face. For many of us, smoking isn’t just a physical addiction: we may associate smoking with our first cup of coffee in Paris or favorite college bar. It may help you relieve stress or even remind you of a fondly loved parent or grandparent, now gone.

So before creating a plan to stop smoking, stop and CONGRATULATE yourself on making a tough decision that will lead to a healthier life both for you and your family.

Step Two: Consider Zyban

There are many things that you can do to prepare yourself for quitting, including taking medication.

Some people use nicotine patches or gum. Keep in mind, though, these substitute one form of nicotine for another. While they do stop you from smoking, they don’t help you get over a dependence to nicotine. When you stop using the patches or gum, you may find that you miss the nicotine and need to go back to smoking.

Think instead about asking your doctor to prescribe Zyban for you. Zyban has a chemical found in an antidepressant (Wellbutrin), but Zyban works to change your brain chemistry easier to quit smoking (pretty neat huh?). As long as you’re not on Wellbutrin (or other medications) or have a seizure disorder, a Zyban prescription can be the start of your trip to Smoke-Free Living.

Step 3: Planning Ahead

It takes Zyban a week to ten days to start working, so once you start the medication, pick a quit date about two weeks later. In the meantime, you may keep smoking, if you wish. By the time you’ve reached your official quit date, Zyban will be ready to help you adjust to not smoking.

During that week, do a little more planning ahead of time. There are times during the quitting process that you’ll probably “miss” having a cigarette in your hands, so make a list of things you like to do with your hands that you can do instead of smoking. Want to get back to knitting? Maybe you can get rid of some one-time projects on your to-do list: cleaning the car out or create that vacation photo-album or family webpage.

Make a list of the things that motivated you to quit and write it down. Are you worried about your health? Maybe you’re thinking about starting dating: being a non-smoker might open up the places you go to meet people. For some people, saving money is a motivator; the amount you spend on cigarettes could buy you golf clubs or a new dress! This list can be a helpful reminder when you feel cravings coming on.

Step 4: The Early Days of Smoke-Free

While Zyban will make it easier to keep from reaching for a cigarette, having distractions in place will help you get through periods of craving. Keep in mind that cravings only last a few minutes and you’re tough - you can handle anything for a few minutes! Use deep breathing or a quick walk around the block to ease your tension until the craving passes.

You should also keep an eye out for side-effects of Zyban; common ones are dry-mouth and trouble sleeping, but if you notice other effects (including symptoms of allergy) contact your doctor right away.

Step 5: The Non-Smoking You

People may stay on Zyban anywhere from 7 to 26 weeks, though 7 to 12 weeks is most common. At that point, you are ready to move onto your smoke-free and Zyban-free life!

Ian Mason, owner of Shoppe.MD, your source for health news and Zyban online.

Ian studies health, weight loss, exercise, and several martial arts; maintaining several websites in an effort to help provide up-to-date and helpful information for other who share his interests in health of body and mind.

Contact Ian Mason by e-mail at ian@shoppe.md.

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