Quit Smoking: Discover the Best and Worst Strategies to Help You Succeed

Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking is a significant step towards a healthier life, and it takes courage to admit that you want to quit. However, not all smoking cessation methods are equally effective. In the United States, about 30.8 million people smoke, and nearly 70 percent of adult smokers want to quit. Smoking causes numerous health problems, including cancer, heart disease, and stroke. The addictive nature of nicotine makes quitting smoking a challenging task.

Withdrawal symptoms, such as;

  • Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • and weight gain can make it even harder to quit.

Despite the challenges, it is possible to stop smoking. Since 2002, more former smokers have emerged than current smokers, indicating that quitting smoking is achievable.

Various treatment options are available to help people quit smoking for good. However, it is crucial to know which strategies are effective and which are not. It is essential to make an informed decision about which cessation method to use to increase your chances of quitting successfully.

Best Ways to Quit Smoking: Effective Strategies Backed by Science

Best Ways to Quit Smoking

Smoking is an addiction that affects millions of people worldwide. The nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive, and quitting smoking can be a challenging and often frustrating process. However, there are several proven methods to quit smoking, including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), prescription medications, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and counseling. In this article, we will explore each of these methods in detail and explain how they can help you quit smoking.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)


Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is an effective method for quitting smoking that involves the use of nicotine products to help reduce withdrawal symptoms. NRT products include chewing gum, lozenges, inhalers, nasal sprays, and patches. These products work by gradually providing the body with smaller doses of nicotine over time, while sparing the user from the toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), NRT products, when used in conjunction with a behavioral program, have been found to help people quit smoking. Additionally, using two NRT products together, known as combination NRT, has been found to be more effective than using just one product.

Combination NRT involves using a nicotine patch to achieve a steady level of nicotine throughout the day and an additional nicotine product like lozenges or gum to address sudden urges to smoke or breakthrough cravings. The CDC notes that combination NRT can significantly increase the likelihood of successful smoking cessation.

Prescription Medications


Two FDA-approved prescription medications, varenicline tartrate (Chantix) and bupropion hydrochloride, can help smokers quit. Varenicline mimics some of the effects that nicotine has on the brain, which reduces the urge to smoke and withdrawal symptoms. It also decreases the pleasure that smokers get from nicotine. Bupropion reduces cravings and other nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

While these medications are not addictive, they do have potential side effects that include changes in behavior, depressed mood, hostility, aggression, and suicidal thoughts or actions. Individuals with a history of mental health struggles should talk to their doctor before taking these medications.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive treatment that generates electromagnetic pulses that stimulate neurons in parts of the brain associated with addiction. In 2020, the FDA approved the BrainsWay Deep TMS system as an aid in short-term smoking cessation in adults. According to BrainsWay, Deep TMS has been found to be an effective smoking cessation treatment that significantly improves the continuous quit rate and reduces cravings and the average number of cigarettes smoked per week.

A double-blind, randomized controlled trial published in World Psychiatry in October 2021 found Deep TMS to be an effective smoking cessation treatment. The study included 262 highly addicted smokers who had a history of smoking for an average of over 26 years and several failed attempts to quit. The most common side effect of Deep TMS was headache, along with various forms of pain or discomfort that were usually reported as mild or moderate and resolved shortly after treatment.


Counseling can be an effective tool to help smokers quit by helping them make a plan to quit smoking and cope with stress, the urge to smoke, and other challenges they may face. Counseling options recommended by the CDC include meeting with a quit smoking counselor individually or in a group, free confidential coaching through a telephone quit line (800-QUIT-NOW), free online resources like CDC.gov/quit and Smokefree.gov, and mobile apps like quitSTART.

In conclusion, quitting smoking is a challenging process, but it is possible. Nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medications, transcranial

Worst and Promising Ways to Quit Smoking: A Comprehensive Overview

Worst and Promising Ways to Quit Smoking

Smoking is a harmful habit that can lead to numerous health problems and even death. Therefore, quitting smoking is essential for improving health and reducing the risk of life-threatening diseases. However, not all methods of quitting smoking are effective or safe. This article provides a detailed overview of some of the worst and promising ways to quit smoking.

Worst Ways to Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking


Hypnotherapy is a complementary medicine that uses the power of imagination to break bad habits or deal with stress. It may seem like a popular smoking cessation aid, but the American Cancer Society (ACS) says that there isn't enough evidence to show that it works. Therefore, hypnotherapy is not a recommended method for quitting smoking.

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Low-level laser therapy (or cold laser therapy) is a type of treatment that uses low-intensity light to stimulate certain points on the body, similar to acupuncture. Fans say that the light stimulates brain chemicals that can help you quit smoking. However, research doesn't back up these claims, and the evidence is insufficient to support this method.

Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Some people turn to herbs and dietary supplements to quit smoking, but the evidence suggests that they are not effective. For instance, studies found no evidence that the dietary supplements S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe), lobeline (from the herb Lobelia inflata), and St. John's wort help people quit smoking. Moreover, some supplements have side effects, and some, like St. John's wort, may interact with drugs or other supplements, leading to adverse effects.

Promising but Risky Ways to Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking

Gradually Cutting Down on Cigarettes

Smokers who reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke each day are more likely to attempt and successfully quit smoking, according to a review of data published in BMC Medicine in October 2015. Moreover, long-term reduced smoking may directly benefit health, although the benefits are small compared with quitting altogether, per the review. The review authors note that smoking reduction is a promising intervention, particularly when supported by clean nicotine, such as the nicotine used in electronic cigarettes. However, the benefits are only observed when it leads to permanent cessation, meaning quitting altogether.

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigs, vapes, e-hookahs, and vape pens, are not currently approved by the FDA as smoking cessation aids. But they do have the potential to benefit adult smokers if they are used as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products, according to the CDC. Studies have had mixed results regarding whether e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking, and more research is still needed.


A Cochrane review published in November 2022 found evidence that e-cigarettes with nicotine can help adults who smoke stop smoking in the long term compared with placebo (non-nicotine) e-cigarettes. However, a CDC study published in April 2017 in Preventing Chronic Disease found that many adults use e-cigarettes to quit smoking, but most don't stop smoking cigarettes and instead continue to use both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes.

It is known that e-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, and pregnant women or for adults who do not currently use tobacco products. While e-cigarettes are considered less harmful than regular cigarettes, that doesn't mean they are safe, according to the CDC. E-cigarette aerosol can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents.

According to the American Lung Association (ALA), e-cigarettes produce a number of dangerous chemicals, including acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde, which can cause lung disease as well as heart disease. E-cigarettes also contain acrolein, a herbicide primarily used to kill weeds, which can cause acute lung injury and COPD and may cause asthma and lung cancer.

Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can harm adolescent and young adult brain development, and can contain chemicals that are harmful to the lungs, notes the CDC. And youth e-cigarette use is associated with the use of other tobacco products, including cigarettes. In other words, if you don’t smoke, don’t start using e-cigarettes as a “safe” alternative.

Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things a person can do. According to the American Cancer Society, quitting smoking is not easy, but it is possible. Nicotine is an addictive substance, and it takes a lot of effort and dedication to quit. While some methods may seem promising, it is important to be cautious when trying to quit smoking.

girl use vape e-cigrette

Hypnotherapy, low-level laser therapy, and dietary supplements are among the least successful ways to quit smoking. While they may seem like an easy way to quit smoking, there is not enough evidence to prove their effectiveness. Furthermore, some of these methods have side effects and can interact with other medications, leading to adverse effects.

Gradually cutting down on cigarettes is a promising intervention, particularly when supported by clean nicotine such as the nicotine used in electronic cigarettes. However, the benefits are only observed when it leads to permanent cessation, meaning quitting altogether.

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, have the potential to benefit adult smokers if they are used as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products. However, they are not approved by the FDA as smoking cessation aids, and their safety is still being studied. While they are considered less harmful than regular cigarettes, they still produce dangerous chemicals that can cause lung and heart disease, and harm adolescent and young adult brain development.

In conclusion, there are several ways to quit smoking, but it is important to be cautious and aware of the potential risks and benefits. Quitting smoking is not easy, but it is possible with dedication and the right support. If you are trying to quit smoking, talk to your healthcare provider about the best method for you.

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