Quitting Smoking


Quitting smoking is necessary for total wellness. Smoking greatly increases the probability of having heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, atherosclerosis, cancer, and many other diseases.

Smoking cessation (colloquially quitting smoking) is the process of discontinuing tobacco smoking. Tobacco contains nicotine, which is addictive.

Smoking cessation can be achieved with or without assistance from healthcare professionals, or the use of medications. However, a combination of personal efforts and medications proves more effective to many smokers. Methods that have been found to be effective include interventions directed at or via health care providers and health care systems; medications including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and varenicline; individual and group counselling. Although stopping smoking can cause short-term side effects such as reversible weight gain, smoking cessation services and activities are cost-effective because of the positive health benefits.

  • In a growing number of countries, there are more ex-smokers than smokers.
  • Early "failure" is a normal part of trying to stop, and more than one attempt at stopping smoking prior to longer-term success is common.
  • NRT, other prescribed pharmaceuticals, and professional counselling or support also help many smokers.
  • However, up to three-quarters of ex-smokers report having quit without assistance ("cold turkey" or cut down then quit), and cessation without professional support or medication may be the most common method used by ex-smokers.

Tobacco contains nicotine. Smoking cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction. The addiction begins when nicotine acts on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors to release neurotransmitters such as dopamine, glutamate, and gamma-aminobutyric acid. Cessation of smoking leads to symptoms of nicotine withdrawal such as anxiety and irritability. Professional smoking cessation support methods generally endeavour to address both nicotine addiction and nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Studies have shown that it takes between 6 to 12 weeks post quitting before the amount of nicotinic receptors in the brain return to the level of a non smoker.


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The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Consult a licensed medical professional for the diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions and before starting a new diet or exercise program. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.