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A Better Strategy for Quitting Smoking

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things to do, but studies have found that one strategy in particular can help many people: Start anti-smoking medication well before your intended quit date.

Under traditional prescribing guidelines, people who plan to quit smoking with the help of a medication begin taking their anti-smoking drug about one week before their set quit date. But about 75 percent of people who try to quit go back to smoking within a year.

So what's the solution? Research done at the University at Buffalo, in New York, showed that simply starting the drugs four weeks in advance can increase the success rate.

One study was done on bupropion, known by the brand name Zyban, and similar research has involved both nicotine replacement therapy and varenicline (Chantix).

The idea of taking quit-smoking medication earlier in advance of your quit date stemmed in part from reports of people who were taking these medications for other reasons -- bupropion, for instance, is well-known as an antidepressant -- and found that they gave up smoking without even trying to quit.

Four weeks also provides a good timeframe to mentally prepare to quit smoking. In fact, many study participants started smoking less before their quit date and without experiencing strong cravings or withdrawal symptoms. And their cravings tended to decrease.

As for results, over 50 percent of the people who started the drugs four weeks ahead of time remained smoke-free 30 days after quitting, compared to 31 percent who were given the standard one-week start date.

All study participants received smoking cessation counseling as well, which shows that a multifaceted approach brings the best results.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has online tools to help you through every facet of a quit smoking plan.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=740502

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Smoking
Smoking Cessation
Specialty Chemicals and Products
Bupropion
Set (Psychology)
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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