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Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Thinking about quitting smoking? Good for you! Here are a few ideas to help you along the way.

One cigarette has approximately one milligram (mg) of nicotine (the addictive stuff). If you choose to use nicotine replacement therapy, make sure you choose the one that matches closely with your habits. And don't forget the people who manufacture nicotine replacement are out to make money too, so you may not want to follow their directions too closely (without risking becoming addicted to their product).

- One pack has 20 cigarettes in it and is equal to approximately 20 grams of nicotine. The nicotine gum comes in two choices, 2 mg or 4 mg. In order to constantly cut down on nicotine levels (and reduce your addiction), you would want to choose the 2 mg gum option and chew less than 10 pieces per day in order to slowly cut down. The 4 mg gum is for folks who smoke more than two packs of cigarettes per day, and get up in the middle of the night just to smoke. That gum is strictly for very heavy smokers. If you choose to use the 4 mg gum and are not a heavy smoker, you will become much more addicted to nicotine than less addicted.

-Going the "patch" route? Awesome! The same math applies. Patches come in 7 mg, 14 mg or 21 mg. Choose the patch that most closely matches the amount you smoke. If you smoke a half a pack a day (10 cigarettes), you can choose between 7 mg and 14 mg. If you smoke an entire pack a day, choose the 21 mg patch. But only wear the patch to bed at night if you actually get up to smoke during the middle of the night. If the mornings are especially rough, set your alarm for 30 minutes before you would regularly wake up, put on a patch and go back to bed. It takes about 30 minutes for the nicotine to flow through your system and provide "relief".

There are also several pills you can take, but you must see your health care provider first. Ask about Chantix and Wellbutrin or Zyban. None of those pills happen to be magic, but there are some good results.

Don't forget, often times kids think nicotine replacement patches are bandages. And while nicotine is poisonous, it is deadly for small, kid sized bodies. Keep all nicotine and nicotine replacement products away from small children.

Healthy and Well Wishes!

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