After decades of denial by giants in the tobacco and advertising industries, the American public is now aware of the dangers of cigarette smoking, especially with regards to cancer and heart disease. While there are still many smokers in the U.S., most of them do hope to quit the habit. Fortunately, there are multiple alternatives to quitting cold-turkey, and most of them are approved by the FDA.
Smoking Cessation Aids
- SmokeFree.gov: Maintained by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, this site covers information about nicotine replacement therapies like patches, gum, nasal sprays, lozenges or inhalers.
- Chantix: As mentioned above, Chantix is a prescription-based medication that blocks nicotine receptor cells in the brain and reduces cravings as you quit smoking.
- Zyban: Also mentioned above, this anti-depressant, available with a prescription, has been proven to reduce cravings and assist users with smoking cessation.
- Hypnosis: Hypnotherapy has successfully aided thousands of Americans in their efforts to quit smoking. WebMD profiles the legitimacy of the method and the variations typically employed as treatment.
- Freedom from Smoking: This program, offered by the American Lung Association, is an 8-session group clinic that can be brought to any group or organization. Individual online support is also available.
- QuitPlan: This service provides those who want to quit with two weeks' worth of nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges; participants also receive personalized support via email and text messaging, as well as a guide to quitting with tips on managing cravings.
- Become an Ex: This 3-step plan designed by the Mayo Clinic targets all smokers who want to reform, and includes special information about pregnant smokers and alternative therapies.
Smoking Cessation Support Tools
- TheRealCost: This no-nonsense site breaks down the negative impact smoking can have on your life.
- Smokefree.gov: This government-run site provides resources for smokers to quit in ways that feel sensible and doable.
- How to Quit: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips from reformed smokers and links to other government resources designed to help you quit.
- QuitNet: A staple in the smoking cessation world, this site offers a number of resources for smokers, including a downloadable guide to quitting, a community forum of fellow smokers trying to quit, and blogs and games to distract you when the urge strikes.
- Freedom from Smoking: This resource is sponsored by the American Lung Association and is designed to aid busy adults in their quest to quit smoking.