Educate yourself about nicotine replacement products
There are many products that can help reduce your craving for nicotine and increase your chances of successfully quitting smoking. These products use various forms of nicotine delivery to replace the nicotine you obtain from smoking. Consequently, they can help manage cravings, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and/or make smoking less pleasurable. They are intended to be used in combination with a quit-smoking plan (like this one). Some of these products are listed below.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about nicotine replacement products. Talk to friends who may have tried them to quit smoking. Visit a drugstore and look at what is available on the shelf, research these options using the internet, and talk to a pharmacist. If you want to try a prescription medication, speak with your doctor.
The more you know, the better prepared you will be to include a nicotine replacement product as part of your quit-smoking plan, if you choose to put that plan into action. The use of some nicotine replacement therapies (e.g the patch) may be covered by your benefits plan. Be certain to check with your plan advisor.
- Nicotine patch.The nicotine patch releases a constant amount of nicotine. Similar to adhesive bandages, patches are available in different shapes, sizes, and amount of nicotine replacement.
- Nicotine gum.Nicotine gum is not designed to be chewed like normal gum but instead to be chewed for a few moments and then left in place between your gum and cheek (called “parking” the gum).
- Nicotine inhaler.Inhalers deliver nicotine via small particles that are absorbed into your body through the back of your throat. Because inhalers are held between your fingers like a cigarette, they can help you gradually overcome the habit of holding a cigarette that you associate with smoking.
- Prescription pills/tablets (Chantix).Chantix® (varenicline) is one of the newest prescription medications for use as part of a quit-smoking plan. The drug reduces the pleasure of smoking and also reduces withdrawal symptoms.
- Zyban®(bupropion) is another prescription medication and has been around longer than Chantix. Both of these medications can be helpful, but one may be preferred over the other. Talk to your doctor and educate yourself before making a choice.
NOTE:As with any medication, it is important to follow the directions for any nicotine replacement product you choose. As well, you must use these products in combination with the techniques in this course or some other form of smoking cessation counselling. These products are not meant to be used without a quit-smoking plan. Remember, quitting is more than stopping the addiction. It is also mental and behavioural.
Quit Smoking Resources
The following is a list of helplines and resources. New resources are continually available, and the contact information for some of these resources may change. For the most up-to-date information, do an internet search for “quit smoking programs.”
Provincial Smokers’ Helplines
- British Columbia (1.877.455.2233)
- Yukon (1.866.221.8393)
- Nunavut (1.866.877.3845)
- Northwest Territories (1.867.920.8826)
- Alberta (1.866.332-2322 and alberta.quitnet.com)
- Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia (1.877.513.5333)
- Prince Edward Island (1.888.818.6300)
- Quebec (1.866.527.7383)
- Newfoundland, Labrador (1.800.363.5864)
Resources For Youths
- Quit4Life (www.quit4life.ca) is a Health Canada program for 12 to 18 year olds.
- Smoke-FX (www.smoke-fx.com) is Ontario-based and has many useful resources to aid in quitting smoking as well as an advocacy tool kit.
- Smoking Zine (www.smokingzine.org) is a University of Toronto smoking cessation program for teens.
- Inventory of Canadian Tobacco Cessation Programs and Resources (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/pubs/tobac-tabac/ictcpr-rrpcrt/index-eng.php). A listing of smoking cessation programs that are available nation-wide or province-wide.
- Health Canada (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca). Health Canada has numerous resources to help smokers quit. Search the “It’s your health” section of the Health Canada site or use the A-Z index to find out about the latest programs and information they offer.
- Canadian Cancer Society (www.cancer.ca or 1.888.939.3333)
- Canadian Lung Association (www.lung.ca)
- Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
- National Clearinghouse on Tobacco and Health
- Non-smoker’s right association (www.nsra-adnf.ca)
- Physicians for a smoke-free Canada (www.smoke-free.ca)
- Conseil québécois sur le tabac et la santé (www.cqts.qc.ca)
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